Brian Mcinnis, PhD, MPP, BA



Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science,
UC San Diego Health

The purpose of my research is to help people collaboratively build insights around civic concerns, policy issues, and ethical questions. I conduct my system design and public policy research as a cycle that begins with investigations into the opportunities and barriers to informed discussion on collaboration platforms (e.g., Slack) and at news websites (e.g., New York Times). I then use this research about existing systems to develop and evaluate new ways to promote informed discussion through controlled experiments and field studies. As a theoretical lens to inform my research, I apply modern concepts from crowdsourcing to advance century-old practices in public deliberation, because I see great promise in the capability of computing systems to coordinate groups of people to problem-solve a civic issue through informed discussion.

Currently I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego. In 2019, I earned my PhD in Information Science from Cornell University, where I was advised by Gilly Leshed, Dan Cosley (DanCo), and Poppy McLeod. Prior to my PhD, I worked as a project associate at the RAND Corporation, where I reported on a range of topics—from youth summer learning programs to the use and misuse of predictive policing techniques. Additionally, I earned a master’s degree in Education Policy at Vanderbilt University Peabody College and studied Economics and History at the University of California, Davis.



Research Interest (Mis)information, Crowdsourcing, Online Discussion Communities, Technology Policy and Ethics
CV Link
Publications Google Scholar
Education B.A. Economics and History, UC Davis; MPP Education Policy, Vanderbilt University; PhD Information Science, Cornell University


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