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As part of the Combating Misinformation speaker series, we are pleased to announce a roundtable with the US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, regarding COVID-19 misinformation. 

This event is cosponsored by Northeastern’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks and Network Science Institute, the COVID States Project, the Social Science Research Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Digital Public Library of America

This zoom event will take place on Friday, April 8th, 1:30-2:30pm ET. Registration is required:


Roundtable on COVID-19 misinformation: the state of the research

Vivek Murthy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States. He previously served as the 19th Surgeon General under President Obama. As the Nation’s Doctor, the Surgeon General’s mission is to help lay the foundation for a healthier country, relying on the best scientific information available to provide clear, consistent, and equitable guidance and resources for the public. As the Vice Admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy also commands a uniformed service of over 6,000 dedicated public health officers, serving the most underserved and vulnerable populations. The first Surgeon General of Indian descent, Dr. Murthy was raised in Miami and is a graduate of Harvard, the Yale School of Medicine, and the Yale School of Management. A renowned physician, research scientist, entrepreneur, author, and mango aficionado, he lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Dr. Alice Chen, and their two children.

Dolores Albarracín is a social psychologist who studies social cognition, communication, and behavioral change. She is the Alexandra Heyman Nash Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor and Director of the Division of the Science of Science Communication at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. She is President-Elect of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for 2023.

Matthew A. Baum is the Marvin Kalb Professor of Global Communications and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Department of Government. His research focuses on the domestic politics of foreign policy, the sources and political effects of public opinion, political communication, and misinformation. He is co-founder of the HKS Misinformation Review and the COVID States Project. His most recent book is War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy (2015, Princeton University Press).

Leticia Bode is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Communication, Culture, and Technology master’s program at Georgetown University. She researches the intersection of communication, technology, attitudes, and behavior, emphasizing the role communication and information technologies may play in the acquisition, use, effects, and implications of both information and misinformation. 

David Lazer is University Distinguished Professor and computational social scientist at Northeastern University, and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He has published prominent work on misinformation, democratic deliberation, collective intelligence, computational social science, and algorithmic auditing, and his research has received extensive coverage in the media, including the New York Times, NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and CBS Evening News.

Filippo Menczer is the Luddy distinguished professor of informatics and computer science and the director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University. His research interests span Web and data science, computational social science, science of science, and modeling of complex information networks. In the last ten years, his lab has led efforts to study online misinformation spread and to develop tools to detect and counter social media manipulation.

Brendan Nyhan is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care. He has been named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and a Belfer Fellow by the Anti-Defamation League and is a co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a non-partisan group monitoring the state of American democracy, and a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times.

Katherine Ognyanova is an associate professor at the School of Communication & Information, Rutgers University. Her research examines the effects of social influence on civic and political behavior, confidence in institutions, information exposure/evaluation, and public opinion formation. Ognyanova is one of the principal investigators for the COVID States Project (, a multi-university initiative exploring the social and political implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Rand is the Erwin H. Schell Professor and Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. Bridging the fields of cognitive science, behavioral economics, and social psychology, his research focuses on illuminating why people believe and share misinformation and “fake news”; understanding political psychology and polarization; and promoting human cooperation. He has published over 170 articles in peer-reviewed journals such Nature, Science, PNAS, the American Economic Review, Psychological Science, Management Science, New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Political Science, and regularly advises technology companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter in their efforts to combat misinformation.

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