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This is a Berkman Klein alum page. The information below may be out of date.

David G. Rand is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, as well as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Mathematical Biology at Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. David studies human cooperation from an evolutionary game theoretic perspective. His research integrates theoretical and empirical approaches, conducting behavioral experiments inspired by evolutionary models, and developing models based on experimental data.

After earning a B.A. in Computer Biology from Cornell University summa cum laude in 2004, David worked as a mathematical modeler at the biotechnology start-up company Gene Network Sciences, and then received a Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School's Department of Systems Biology in 2009. Thus he brings a biological perspective and toolkit to the study of human behavior.

David works extensively with Berkman Co-director Yochai Benkler. Their work has thus far focused on solving collective action problems, and the role that solidarity and group identity play in promoting cooperation. For more, see a recent publication in PNAS studying in-group bias among Democrats during the 2008 election. David also studies reward and punishment in cooperative settings, and the dangers associated with escalation as opposed to reciprocation.

Together with Yochai, David runs the Berkman Center Cooperation Group's weekly seminar, Mondays from 4pm-6pm @ 23 Everett St. These weekly meetings explore cooperation from many different angles, and include participants from law, economics, computer science, psychology, sociology, and evolutionary biology.


Mar 30, 2009

Dynamic remodeling of in-group bias during the 2008 presidential election

People often favor members of their own group, while discriminating against members of other groups. Such in-group favoritism has been shown to play an important role in human…


Jan 28, 2019

Fighting misinformation on social media using crowdsourced judgments of news source quality

One potential approach to reducing the spread of misinformation: having social media platform algorithms preferentially display content from news sources that users rate as…

Apr 21, 2010

(Futures) news, social science, Internet filtering (more)

Seven different pieces of writing and research from the Berkman Center community have appeared over the last seven days, from Ethan Zuckerman's essay in the latest issue of…


New York Times

Why Do People Fall for Fake News?

What makes people susceptible to fake news and other forms of strategic misinformation?

Jan 19, 2019


Nov 2, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

The Online Laboratory: Taking Experimental Social Science onto the Internet

Dave Rand, Berkman Fellow & Research Scientist at Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics

In this talk Dave Rand will describe how to go about designing and running experiments using Mechanical Turk, some successful experiments that have been run (mostly involving…