The Catholic University of America

Vincent Kiernan, dean, Metropolitan School, was quoted in an article posted on Bloomberg View discussing the impact of embargoes in regards to science journalism. See below.

Hacking Into the Science Publicity Machine

From: Bloomberg View
Date: Sept. 29, 2016
Author: Faye Flam

That would have served the public better than a big splash of publicity, said Vincent Kiernan, a former science journalist and now a dean at Catholic University in Washington. He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on the impact of embargoes, and interviewed me on the topic back in the early 2000s when I was a science reporter for the Inquirer. He also commented on this latest incident for the website Embargo Watch.

Speaking now, Kiernan said he had once worked as a newspaper reporter, and he liked the embargo system enough that he had assumed his thesis would focus on how beneficial it was. In his research, he said, “my thinking turned around 180 degrees.”

“It seriously distorts the image of how science is done,” he said. The problem is a false sense of urgency. Under pressure generated by EurekAlert, packs of reporters cover the same stories, often competing over how exciting they can make them sound. That may leave readers and viewers with the false impression that science is a never-ending series of amazing breakthroughs. Worse still, he said, chasing after all these embargoed press releases leaves little time to cover controversies within science, cases of misleading results, fraud, or the way scientists use funding.

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