SFI seeks a program postdoc to play a key role in a project studying how people form and change beliefs about scientific issues. The project focuses on beliefs about genetically modified organisms but is also relevant for issues such as climate change or vaccination. The research has a strong transdisciplinary flavor, integrating theories and methods from cognitive and social sciences, statistical physics, and molecular biology.
1) develop a quantitative model of belief dynamics using a statistical physics framework to study how plausible social-cognitive factors such as social influence and moral considerations influence belief spread in realistic social networks
2) use the model to develop empirically testable individual- and group-level predictions about different factors that can affect belief change, such as alignment of new beliefs with core moral values, perceived scientific consensus, trustworthiness of media sources, and homophily of social networks
3) test model predictions in a longitudinal survey with an experimental component, and use the results to refine the theoretical model and develop a set of recommendations for educational interventions in the general public
The postdoc will play a key role in each of these project components. The position will enable transdisciplinary training in theories and methods relevant for studies of complex social systems. Postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to participate in the postdoctoral fellows leadership program activities and to interact and collaborate with members of the larger SFI community.
The ideal starting date is the spring of 2018, though that is somewhat flexible. The position will last for 18 months. The position includes full employee benefits including insurance, paid time off, and modest relocation support.
• a Ph.D. in any scientific discipline
• a demonstrated interest in quantitative modeling of empirically measured cognitive and social processes
• experience in survey and/or experimental research with human participants
• strong quantitative and computational skills, excellent command of Matlab or R
• a proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively
• evidence of the ability to think outside traditional paradigms.
• an exemplary academic record
Please send an email containing your CV and a 1-page description of your relevant projects and interests to firstname.lastname@example.org with “SFI Program Postdoc, Belief Formation” in the subject line. Please include names and contact information of two or preferably three references. Full consideration will be given to applications received by January 31st, 2018. For additional information, you may email Prof. Mirta Galesic at email@example.com. No phone calls, please.
The Santa Fe Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and women, veterans, and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but you should be a U.S. permanent resident or eligible for J-1 visa sponsorship.