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Nathan Sanders is a data scientist focused on creating open technology to help vulnerable communities and all stakeholders participate in the analysis and development of public policy.

As a Berkman Klein Center Fellow in 2020-2021, Nathan helped create the Harvard Climate Justice Design Fellowship program and the Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement (MAPLE).

Nathan has helped build and lead data science teams in industry at Legendary Pictures, WarnerMedia, and Flagship Pioneering, developing and applying methods in Bayesian inference, natural language processing, computer vision, and deep learning. In the policy domain, he has built open source applications for participatory oversight of environmental regulation in collaboration with the Mystic River Watershed Association in Massachusetts; developed statistical methods for public health analysis modeling long term trends in the rate of mass public shootings; and served as a science policy fellow in the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representative.

Nathan is a co-founder of the astrophysical literature digest Astrobites, the multi-lingual association of graduate student science writing collaboratives ScienceBites, and the international science communication workshop series ComSciCon.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Physics and is an Associate Editor of the Harvard Data Science Review.

Nathan did his undergraduate work in Physics and Astrophysics at Michigan State University and earned his PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Harvard University.


MIT Technology Review

Let’s not make the same mistakes with AI that we made with social media

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier argue that the unregulated evolution of social media over the past few decades provides lessons for the AI revolution.

Mar 13, 2024
Brookings Institute

How public AI can strengthen democracy

Nathan Sanders, Bruce Schneier, and Norman Eisen advocate for a public AI to counterbalance private AI and promote tech that benefits all people, not just corporate interests.

Mar 4, 2024

How the “Frontier” Became the Slogan of Uncontrolled AI

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier argue that big tech uses the conception of AI as a new "frontier" to excuse exploitation and a lack of oversight or accountability.

Feb 27, 2024
Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center

Who's accountable for AI usage in digital campaign ads? Right now, no one.

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders explore the patchwork of organizations charged with regulating AI usage in political campaign ads.

Oct 11, 2023

Nervous About ChatGPT? Try ChatGPT With a Hammer

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders opine on the great power that AI will have once it is capable of using real-world tools and urge that companies and regulators…

Aug 29, 2023
MIT Technology Review

Six ways that AI could change politics

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders propose six milestones that will bring in a new era of AI driven democratic politics.

Jul 28, 2023
Government Technology

Can You Trust AI? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders write about the potential risks and biases of AI.

Jul 20, 2023
The Conversation

AI could shore up democracy – here’s one way

BKC Affiliate Nathan Sanders writes about the drawbacks and the opportunities AI can provide to strengthen democracy.

Jun 20, 2023
Foreign Policy

Build AI by the People, for the People

BKC Affiliates Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders write about the need for AI investment to be taken out of the hands of private companies.

Jun 12, 2023

Can We Build Trustworthy AI?

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about the trustworthiness of AI technologies and their corporate owners.

May 4, 2023
The Atlantic

Just Wait Until Trump Is a Chatbot

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about how AI will change the nature of campaigning.

Apr 28, 2023

How Artificial Intelligence Can Aid Democracy

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about AI's potential to advance the public good by helping democracy.

Apr 21, 2023
The Boston Globe

Twitter is for roasting Donald Trump. Building a democracy? Not so much.

BKC Affiliate Nathan Sanders' policymaking project, the Massachusetts Platform for Legislative Engagement, or MAPLE, is discussed as an alternative to Twitter.

Apr 13, 2023
MIT Technology Review

How AI could write our laws

BKC Affiliates Nathan Sanders and Bruce Schneier write about the potential influence of ChatGPT and generative AI on lobbying.

Mar 14, 2023

ChatGPT could be a useful AI tool. So how are we regulating it?

"My observation would be that the serious legislation that's been successfully passed for regulating machine learning in general has been painfully slow and insufficient to keep…

Feb 2, 2023
The New York Times

How ChatGPT Hijacks Democracy

"So while it’s impossible to predict what a future filled with A.I. lobbyists will look like, it will probably make the already influential and powerful even more so." BKC…

Jan 15, 2023


Apr 5, 2023 @ 12:30 PM

Digital Public Spaces for a Healthy Democracy: goals, values & aspirations

Join us on April 5 for a discussion about how to reimagine the digital public square...