Taylor Carlson and Carly Wayne, both assistant professors of political science in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, have won a two-year $300,000 National Science Foundation grant to study factors that drive political radicalization. They’ll also test cutting-edge approaches using interpersonal communication to de-radicalize the alt-right.
The grant will allow Carlson and Wayne to train, hire and mentor a team of undergraduate and graduate student researchers — giving these students the opportunity to further develop and use the research methods they learn in class. Student researchers will parse and analyze social media posts to build a machine-learning algorithm, which Carlson and Wayne hope will offer insight into the use of emotional appeals by white nationalist leaders to radicalize followers.
Read more about the research project in The Ampersand.