I study digital governance and behavior change in groups and networks shaped by algorithms. I collaborate with the public in citizen behavioral science, working for a world where digital power is guided by evidence and accountable to the public.
I am a Guatemalan-American assistant professor at the Cornell University Departments of Communication and Information Science, where I lead the Citizens & Technology Lab (full bio here). My research contributes to scholarship in social pscychology and computer science.
I am also a co-founder and executive committee member of the Coalition for Independent Technology Research.
- Matias, J.N. (2023) Science for Survival and Hope: Receiving the Rise25 Award from Mozilla. Medium
- Zong, J., Matias, J.N. (2023) Data Refusal From Below: A Framework for Understanding, Evaluating, and Envisioning Refusal as Design. ACM Journal of Responsible Computing
- Matias, J.N. (2023) Influencing Recommendation Algorithms to Reduce the Spread of Unreliable News by Encouraging Humans to Fact-Check Articles, in a Field Experiment. Scientific Reports (Nature).
- Matias, J.N. (2023) Humans and algorithms work together — so study them together. Nature.
- Matias, J.N., Lewis, N. A., Hope, E. (2022) U.S. Universities Are Not Succeeding in Diversifying Faculty. Nature Human Behavior.
- Flaherty, Colleen (2022) Study finds true faculty diversity possible by 2050. Inside Higher Ed.
- Matias, J. N., Munger, K., Aubin Le Quere, M., Ebersole, C. (2021) The Upworthy Research Archive, a time series of 32,487 experiments in U.S. media. Scientific Data (Nature).
- Matias, J. N. (2019). Preventing harassment and increasing group participation through social norms in 2,190 online science discussions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(20), 9785-9789.
Recent Public Writing
- Matias, J.N. (2023) To Hold Tech Accountable, Look to Public Health. WIRED
- Matias, J.N. (2022) How to avoid Social Media Blight. Knight First Amendment Institute, Columbia University
- Matias, J. N., Lewis, N., Hope, E. (2021) Universities Say They Want More Diverse Faculties. So Why is Academia So White?. FiveThirtyEight.
- Matias, J.N. (2020) Why We Need Industry-Independent Research on Tech & Society 🍔. Cornell Citizens & Technology Lab.
Guide for Journalists & Event Organizers
As someone who regularly gives keynotes, appears on panels, and commits acts of journalism, I do what I can to support high quality conversation on tech and society: as a speaker, as a source, and by helping you find experts. I also collaborate with journalists on data journalism projects related to tech companies, their policies, and online behavior. To invite me to give a talk, see my page about talks and speaking.
Journalists: Reach out if I can help; over the last few years I have supported journalists on background, with suggested sources, statistics feedback, and served as a named source for journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ProPublica, The Markup, NPR All Things Considered, WIRED, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Boston Globe, Canadian Broadcasting Company, FastCompany, Fortune, Chronicle of Higher Education, Nieman Journalism Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review, to name a few.
To protect the integrity of my public voice, I maintain independence from the technology industry.
For questions related to the Citizens and Technology Lab and my academic work at Cornell, please write me at email@example.com.