Dr Sander van der Linden

Sander van der Linden is Professor of Social Psychology in Society and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge where he co-convenes the Cambridge Special Interest Group on Disinformation.

He is often dubbed Cambridge’s “defence against the dark arts teacher”. His pioneering research on fake news, misinformation, science denial, and the psychology of influence and persuasion is world-renowned and has been downloaded over 350,000 times. His research has been featured on the front pages of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature, and Science. He has worked directly on implementing his research to counter misinformation with the UK Cabinet Office, the Department of Homeland Security (USA), the UK Foreign Office, The European Commission, and social media giants such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google. He has published close to 100 papers and chapters and is the recipient of many awards, including the Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Sage Early Career Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), the James Cameron Medal for the Public Understanding of Risk from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and best paper awards from the American Psychological Association (APA), the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) amongst others.

He co-developed the viral fake news game Bad News, which is played by millions of people around the world and for which he won the Frank Prize in Public Interest Research from the University of Florida. The game also won the prestigious Trust Prize from the Royal Holland Society of Science and was on exhibit in the London Design Museum for Beazley’s 2018 Designs of the Year.

WIRED magazine recently described him as “one of 15 Top Thinkers” and Fast Company featured him as one of four “Heroes of Digital Democracy”. His research is regularly covered in the popular media including the New York Times, the BBC, NPR, Time Magazine, CNN, Reuters, and the Economist. He has appeared on many major podcasts and radio shows such as Ira Flatow’s Science Friday, CBC’s Quirks and Quarks, NBC’s Inside Edition, Ed Miliband’s Reasons to be Cheerful, Claudia Hammond’s All in the Mind, and podcasts for Nature and the Lancet. He has given talks at major venues such as the Hay Festival and regularly appears on national and international radio and TV. He consulted on BBC’s Tomorrow’s World and maintains a blog at Scientific American Mind.

Prior to Cambridge, he was based at Yale University and Princeton University’s Kahneman-Treisman Centre for Behavioural Science. He earned his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Photo credit: Danielle Da Silva Photography