• About ME

    I use behavioral science to study the societal risks and potential of synthetic biology.

    Hi, I'm Daniel. I am a postdoctoral researcher and fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, where I work with Dr. Megan Palmer to study the societal risks and potential of synthetic biology. I use a combination of data science, survey research, policy analysis, and qualitative methods to help us understand our collective options for regulating synthetic biology.


    Previously, I was a behavioral scientist at the Project for Education Research That Scales, where I worked on the Engagement Project - a professional development program to help teachers make their classrooms more engaging, supportive, and meaningful for all students. I also contributed to an R library of data-analysis tools called Gymnast.


    I completed a Ph.D. in Education at Stanford in 2018 under Prof. Carol Dweck. In my dissertation, I measured and influenced two novel "employment mindsets" that contribute to adults' motivation to seek out job-skill training.


    In my spare time I'm part of the Effective Altruism community, where I explore ways that social science can help address humanity's most pressing problems. I'm currently mentoring three Stanford undergraduates through the Stanford Existential Risks Initiative. I also occasionally blog on Medium.

  • Education and work history

    Center for International Security and Cooperation

    2019 - present

    Postdoctoral Researcher in Biosecurity & Project Fellow

    Supervisors: Megan Palmer and David Relman

    Project for Education Research That Scales

    2013 - 2019

    Data Associate and Program Manager

    Lytics Lab

    2013 - 2015

    Doctoral Researcher

    Transformative Learning Technologies Lab

    2010 - 2012

    Doctoral Researcher

    Stanford University

    2010 - 2018

    Ph.D. in Education

    Minor in Computer Science

    Certificate in Computational Social Science

    Advisor: Carol Dweck

    Rutgers University

    2006 - 2010

    B.A. in Cognitive Science, Honors

    Phi Beta Kappa

  • CV and Selected Publications

    You can download my CV here.


    Selected publications:

  • Invited Talks and Other Media

    Invited talks:

    • 2020-12-03: Panelist for “Rethinking Safety and Security in Synthetic Biology.” Biosecurity, Biosafety, and Bioethics conference, remote.
    • 2020-12-01: “Engaging Life Scientists About Biological Risks.” Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford, CA.
    • 2020-11-04: Untitled presentation. Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity, Tempe, AZ.
    • 2020-02-22: "Measuring Cultures of Responsibility in the Life Sciences." Catalyst Biosecurity Summit, San Francisco, CA.
    • 2020-01-28: "Cultures of Responsibility in the Life Sciences." Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA.


    Media coverage and popular writing from my earlier work: