Meet 2018 Carnegie Fellow Brendan Nyhan

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program recognizes an exceptional group of both established and emerging scholars, journalists, and authors with the goal of strengthening U.S. democracy, driving technological and cultural creativity, exploring global connections and global ruptures, and improving both natural and human environments. 

Brendan Nyhan (PhD Duke University, 2009) is a professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His  research, which focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care, has been published in journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Pediatrics, and Vaccine. He previously won the Emerging Scholar Award for the top scholar in the field who is within 10 years of their Ph.D. from the American Political Science Association’s section on Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior. He also co-directs Bright Line Watch, a group that monitors the status of American democracy, and is a contributor to the New York Times’ The Upshot.

Public concern is growing about the way that false and unsupported information circulates online and its effects on our democracy. With support from Carnegie, I will be able to conduct new research that will help us better understand the causes and consequences of online political misinformation before the next presidential election.”

How will the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program impact your research and overall career?

Nyhan: It’s an incredible opportunity! The fellowship will allow me to conduct new research on the reach and effects of “fake news” and other forms of online misinformation during the 2018 campaign. The funds that the fellowship provides will support both my time and the costs of administering surveys and collecting online data.

What research topics do you primarily focus on? How can people access your work?

Nyhan: My research focuses on misinformation about politics and health care. I primarily publish articles in scientific journals that you can find on my professional website, but I’m also a contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times and tweet frequently about politics and research. In addition, I’m one of the organizers of Bright Line Watch, a new political science initiative that monitors threats to American democracy.

Do you have any advice for students in political science, including tips on how to find funding and support for research projects?

Nyhan: My advice is to try to avoid false choices between relevance and rigor. We can do research that matters to the world and that uses rigorous scientific methods. When we do, funding and other kinds of research support are likely to follow.