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At Johns Hopkins, Vincent Kiernan is a lecturer for the MA in Communication program.

Kiernan studies the practice of science and medical journalism, particularly the relationship between journalists and the scientific establishment. He has had nine articles about scientific-communication research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. His 2006 book Embargoed Science critically examines how journalists produce news coverage of new scientific research. In November 2022, he published Atomic Bill, a biography of New York Times science journalist William L. Laurence, who produced historic coverage of the atomic bomb.

Prior to his academic work, Kiernan was a science and medical journalist for more than 20 years, writing for publications that included New Scientist, the international popular science weekly magazine published in London; The Chronicle of Higher Education, a trade newspaper and website dedicated to universities and colleges; and Space News, a trade newspaper focused on the aerospace industry.

He currently serves on the board of directors and as co-chair of membership expansion for the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society for adult learners. In 2021, Alpha Sigma Lambda presented him with the William C. Hine Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his work with nontraditional-age students.

From 2016 through 2024, Kiernan was the dean of the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He restructured administrative systems, deployed several new degree programs keyed to the needs of adult students, and led the creation of satellite instructional locations in Alexandria, Virginia, and Tucson, Arizona. Previously, he served as an associate dean at George Mason University and Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.


  • William C. Hine Distinguished Service Award, Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, 2021

Featured Works

  • Atomic Bill: A Journalist’s Dangerous Ambition in the Shadow of the Bomb, Vincent Kiernan, Three Hills, Cornell University Press, 2022
  • Embargoed Science, Vincent Kiernan, University of Illinois Press, 2006

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