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Chris Bail is Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Public Policy at Duke University, where he founded the Polarization Lab. He studies political tribalism, extremism, and social psychology using data from social media and tools from the emerging field of computational social science.
A Guggenheim Fellow and Carnegie Fellow, Chris's writing appears in leading outlets such as Science, Nature, and the New York Times. His widely acclaimed 2021 book, Breaking the Social Media Prism, was featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and described as “masterful,” and "immediately relevant" by Science Magazine. It also inspired Twitter to implement a major change to its policies designed to counter misinformation and polarization. His 2015 book, Terrified: How Anti-Muslim Fringe Organizations Became Mainstream, received three awards and resulted in an invitation to address the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Bail has also written for the Sunday Op-Ed page of the New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post Blog and appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNN, BBC, and NPR to discuss his research. His work has been covered by more than sixty media outlets, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Vox, Daily Kos, National Public Radio, NBC News, C-Span, and the BBC.
Chris is passionate about building the field of computational social science. He is the Editor of the Oxford University Press Series in Computational Social Science and the Co-Founder of the Summer Institutes in Computational Social Science, which are free training events designed to introduce junior scholars to the field that are held concurrently in a range of universities around the world each year. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the National Science Foundation's Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, and helped create Duke's Interdisciplinary Data Science Program. After the publication of his 2021 book, Chris began consulting with social media companies, non-profit groups, and governments to implement insights from his research.
Most of the funding for Bail's research has been provided by the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation, among others described on the C.V. below. Chris received his PhD from Harvard University in 2011.