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Joe Bak-Coleman


Joe B. Bak-Coleman is an associate research scholar at the Craig Newmark Center for Journalism Ethics and Security at Columbia University and a computational social scientist. He earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University in 2020, working with Iain Couzin and Dan Rubenstein, and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington Center for an Informed Public. His research focuses on understanding how collectives make decisions in the face of uncertainty. He’s particularly interested in understanding what makes collective decision-making work and how it can go awry. Over the past decade, he has worked on collective decision-making in a range of contexts from animal groups and social media to metascience.



Create an IPCC-like body to harness benefits and combat harms of digital tech

BKC Affiliate Joseph Bak-Coleman, BKC Director James Mickens, and BKC Faculty Associate Zeynep Tufekci write to advocate for an intergovernmental panel to synthesize the evidence…

May 17, 2023
Tech Policy Press

What Generative AI Reveals About the Limits of Technological Innovation

BKC Affiliate Joe Bak-Coleman writes about what generative AI has highlighted about technology and innovation. 

Apr 6, 2023
Tech Policy Press

TikTok's API Guidelines Are a Minefield for Researchers

BKC Affiliate Joe Bak-Coleman writes about TikTok’s new API designed to provide data access to qualified researchers.

Feb 22, 2023
Scientific American

Twitter Is Not Rocket Science—It’s Harder

RSM Assembly Fellow Joe Bak-Coleman writes about the challenges of managing human behavior, especially as applied to…

Nov 21, 2022
Tech Policy Press

On Elon Musk’s Vision of Twitter as a Hive Mind

BKC Affiliate Joe Bak-Coleman writes about conceptualizing activity on Twitter as a “cybernetic super-intelligence” as described by Elon Musk.

Nov 3, 2022