I am a sociologist who studies inequalities in information and knowledge and the implications of these inequalities for people's lives. My areas of focus are the sociology of knowledge and information, inequality, gender, science, and health. I use statistical and computational methods, as well as network analysis, paired with a methodological commitment to open science.
My research looks at inequalities in knowledge. For all the talk about the rise of a knowledge economy or information society, it turns out that we know shockingly little about who knows what. My goal: To build out the field of knowledge inequality. In this research, I prove that differences in the amount of information that individuals have and their confidence in that knowledge are influenced by unequal social positions in our society across a wide variety of content domains. My comprehensive assessment of these data reveal dramatic, previously undocumented differences in factual knowledge.
Another important component of understanding who "owns" knowledge is understanding who takes the credit for the creation of new knowledge. With the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, I studied gender inequalities in the academic workplace, using academic publishing as a case study. Our analysis of citation patterns in 1.5 million research articles on the impact of gender on academic publishing has found that women academics are underrepresented in the prestige positions of first and sole author and significantly less likely to cite their own previous work. This line of research has been covered by Nature News, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, promoting a public conversation about inequality and gender research.
Most recently, my research is turning back to looking at how health and other identities influence information acquisition. Specifically, I am pursuing a qualitative interview study of how disability affects people's ability to cope with climate change. At the intersection of these two topics lie important questions: how does identity influence information seeking? Do prior experiences with disability make people more resilient in the face of climate disaster? With a twist on studying health inequalities, I am pursuing how information influences adaptation in novel contexts.
I am an experienced educator. My teaching pedagogy centers around four core methods to help students develop a sociological way of thinking about the world: creating an inclusive classroom; engaging students; teaching students how knowledge is produced; and facilitating intellectual risk-taking. I received the Centennial Teaching Award in 2016, a Stanford University honor that “recognizes Teaching Assistants with a record of outstanding contributions over time.” In 2020, I received the Rising Star Alumni Mentoring Award from Stanford University for "championing underrepresented and marginalized students."
I received my Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University in California. I hold a B.A. in Biology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon.