Using the Web to Study the Web

Our guest for this episode is David Lazer, a Professor of Political Science and Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University. David is among the leading scholars in the world on misinformation, and he has also researched how we can use the web as a tool to improve our political system. He co-wrote the book Politics with the People: Building Directly Representative Democracy, which was published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press. 

In this episode, David talks about the potential for members of Congress to meet online with voters. He also discusses an online platform he helped to design called Volunteer Science, which houses a large pool of remote volunteers and lowers the startup costs of running experiments for researchers. Finally, he talks about his research on social media and big tech’s algorithms and misinformation on the web – and a recent grant from the National Science Foundation that will fund some of this work.