Faculty Scholar and Senior Communications Adviser, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics

Joann Ellison Rodgers Joann Ellison Rodgers, M.S., an award-winning science journalist, magazine writer, book author and editor, directed Johns Hopkins Medicine’s science communications, media relations and public affairs division for 25 years, and currently is a faculty scholar and strategic communications adviser to the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore, as well as a freelance writer and consultant on media relations and crisis communications. Rodgers joined Johns Hopkins Medicine after nearly two decades as a science journalist and columnist for the Hearst Newspapers, where she won prizes from the American Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and the National Council for Medical Research. At JHM, she was the immediate past Senior Advisor for Science, Executive and Crisis Communications, and before that the Executive Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs. Her portfolio included the development of strategies to encourage the public understanding of science, bioethics, corporate and advocacy communications coupling, crisis communications and management of conflict of interest issues. She served as a member of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Patient Safety Committee and Quality Improvement Council; was a member for 10 years of the JHH Management Committee, and continues special interests in patient safety, crisis communications and brand management.

The author of seven books, her latest, Sex: A Natural History, was published by Times Books (Henry Holt and Company, NY). Previous titles include Cancer and You (Chelsea House), Raising Sons (New American Library), Psychosurgery: Damaging the Brain to Save the Mind (Harper-Collins) and Media Guide for Academics (FACS). She has contributed chapters to books on institutional branding and science communications, and contributed the chapter on institutional crisis communications for the 2nd edition of Field Guide for Science Writers (Oxford University Press, 2006).

As a freelance, she has written on chemistry, molecular biology, medicine, public health, and psychology and has contributed numerous articles to Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Science Year, CASE Currents, Spectrum, Mosaic, New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today, The Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, and Parade.

A graduate of Boston University (B.S.) and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.), she is a board member and past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing; past president of the National Association of Science Writers; a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and one of only a few dozen non-scientist members elected to Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. She also serves on the Advisory Board of EurekAlert, a science news distribution service operated by the AAAS; and on the Public Understanding of Science committees of AAAS and Sigma Xi.

She has participated in NIH-funded communications research published inSocial Science and Medicine, JAMA Online, Genetics in Medicine, and Science Communications, and holds a faculty appointment at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a frequent lecturer and consultant on institutional crisis communications and media relations.