Leonard Shlain (August 28, 1937 – May 11, 2009) was a US surgeon, author, and inventor. He was chairperson of laparoscopic surgery at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, and was an associate professor of surgery at University of California, San Francisco.
His books include Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light (1991), The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image (1998), and Sex, Time and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution (2003).
Shlain is a native of Detroit who graduated from high school at the age of 15. After attending the University of Michigan, he earned an MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine at the age of 23. He served in the United States Army as a military base doctor in Saumur, France. Prior to his internship at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion in San Francisco, he worked for a short time at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Later in his career, he spoke at such venues as the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University, the Salk Institute, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, and the Conference on World Affairs; he also addressed the culture ministers of the European Union. He also contributed to Academic Press' Encyclopedia of Creativity (1999), edited by Mark Runco and Steven Pritzker.