Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Data Science; Director, Polarization Lab
Chris Bail is Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Data Science at Duke University, where he directs the Polarization Lab. His research examines fundamental questions of social psychology, extremism, and political polarization using data from social media and tools from the emerging field of computational social science.
Chris has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Carnegie Fellow. His research appears in leading journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Science Advances, the American Journal of Public Health, and the American Sociological Review. His 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. His research has been covered by more than fifty media outlets, including 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. Bail regularly lectures to audiences in government, business, and the non-profit sector. He also consults with social media platforms struggling to combat polarization..
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.
Funding for Bail's work has been provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. Chris received his PhD from Harvard University in 2011.