Journalists have a distinct way of approaching research and investigating problems. For many scientists, the journalistic method might feel a bit flimsy. But understanding how journalists approach their work can provide valuable insights for scientists in thinking about how scientific findings are understood by the public. Understanding journalists can also make it possible for scientists to play more of a role in the public dialogue about scientific research. In this talk, I would like to present a picture of how I have approached the research I did as a journalist at the New York Times and in the writing of my two books, the first one about the history of Bitcoin — Digital Gold — and my current book about the rise of social media networks, like WallStreetBets, that are focused on investing. In both of these books, I have looked to use novel sources of data to answer big questions about how technology and new social networks evolved — and have tried to answer questions related to both causality and game theory. Beyond a description of my work, I’m hoping to spark a conversation about how journalists and scientists might interact more fruitfully. 

This event will be held in person and virtually. Please register here if you plan to participate virtually on Zoom.
Please read on for important information regarding logistics for those planning to register to attend the workshop in-person at Calvin Lab.

Proof of Vaccination
Given current public health directives from state, local, and university authorities, all participants in Simons Institute events must be prepared to demonstrate proof of full vaccination: a vaccination card or photo of the card along with a valid photo ID, or a green Campus Access Badge via the UC Berkeley Mobile app (additional details regarding proof of vaccination can be found here).

Masks are required indoors for all participants regardless of vaccination status.

Light refreshments will be provided after the lecture. Please note due to current health conditions, we will set up just outside the building. There will be signs to direct you. Please note there is no food or drink allowed in the auditorium. Thank you for helping us to keep the auditorium clean.


Nathaniel Popper is the Simons Institute’s science communicator in residence for Spring 2022. He wrote about Wall Street and Silicon Valley for the New York Times for the last decade, closely following how technology has changed money and finance. He is the author of Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and was shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Popper is currently writing a book for Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, [O4] about the rise of WallStreetBets, Robinhood, and the retail investors who have shaken up the old world of money. He is also a co-producer of an upcoming film on the same topic, The Meme Economy, with Optimist Films.

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