The Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington has announced its first cohort of postdoctoral scholars. The three researchers will join the Center in the coming months and add to its capacity to conduct interdisciplinary research into strategic uses of misinformation.

The scholars joining the CIP include:

Joe Bak-ColemanJoe Bak-Coleman (@jbakcoleman): Currently a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, advised by Iain Couzin and Daniel Rubenstein, Bak-Coleman will join the CIP as a postdoctoral fellow in October 2020. His research is focused on understanding how individual decision-making gives rise to broader patterns of collective behavior. Of particular interest to him is the impact of emerging technology on social processes. Historically he has investigated multi-sensory integration and collective behavior in fish schools, but he is increasingly focused on understanding human behavioral dynamics. His ongoing projects involve the impact of polarization and partisanship on collective wisdom, statistical inference in social systems, and how incentives impact collective decision-making. To accomplish this, he relies on insight from the study of animal behavior as well as online experiments, Bayesian Inference and computational models.

Kolina “Koko” KoltaiKolina “Koko” Koltai (@KolinaKoltai): A Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, Koltai is advised by Dr. Kenneth R. Fleischmann in the School of Information. She studies how groups’ use of sociotechnical systems affects decision making and information behavior. Her dissertation research studies dissent from the scientific mainstream via the anti-vaccination movement on Facebook. Her research findings contribute to the fields of information studies, communication, psychology, and human-computer interaction. Prior to entering the doctoral program at UT-Austin, she conducted research in human factors and user experience labs at NASA and other government and in industry settings.

Rachel Moran (@RachelEMoran): Moran received her doctoral degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the role of trust in digital information environments and is particularly concerned with how trust is implicated in the spread of mis- and dis-information. Her research has been published in Information, Communication & Society, Digital Journalism, Media, Culture & Society and Telecommunications Policy. Moran also holds a BA and an MA in Social and Political Science from Cambridge University and an MA in Political Communications from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She was the Oakley Endowed Fellow at USC for 2018-19 and the 2018 Benton Foundation Junior Scholar.