Truth (and Lies) in Our Time


  • Andrew Bleeker, '07

    Andrew Bleeker is a global leader in high stakes digital communications. He is a senior counselor to leading businesses, organizations, and political campaigns around the world and is a frequent speaker on digital topics.

    Notably, Bleeker was the lead digital marketing strategist on both of President Obama's campaigns. He also played a senior role in President Biden's efforts to mobilize voters and fight disinformation online. Bleeker’s firm, Bully Pulpit Interactive (which he founded in 2009) now advises Fortune 100 companies and CEOs, leading philanthropists, and progressive organizations.

    More About Andrew Bleeker

    Previously, Bleeker served as the global digital practice leader for Hill + Knowlton Strategies, where he advised global brands and managed teams in over 20 countries. He has been featured on “The TODAY Show” and CNN, was named to 40 under 40 lists by both AdAge and PRWeek, and was credited as a “disruptor” by Campaigns & Elections. He taught digital analytics at Georgetown University and serves on the board of the LAGRANT Foundation.

  • Agustín Fuentes

    Agustín Fuentes

    Agustín Fuentes, trained in zoology and anthropology, is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University. His current explorations include the roles of creativity and belief in human evolution, multispecies anthropology, evolutionary theory, and the structures of race and racism. Fuentes’ books include Race, Monogamy, and other lies they told you: busting myths about human nature (U of California), Conversations on Human Nature (Routledge), The Creative Spark: how imagination made humans exceptional (Dutton), and Why We Believe: evolution and the human way of being (Yale).

  • Jeffrey Hancock

    Jeff Hancock is the Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University, founding director of the Social Media Lab, and director of the Stanford Center for Computational Social Science. A leading expert in social media behavior and the psychology of online interaction, Hancock studies the impact of social media and AI technology on well-being, relationships, deception and trust, how we form impressions of others and how we manage others’ impressions of ourselves, and more.

    More About Jeffrey Hancock

    His award-winning research has been published in over 100 journal articles and conference proceedings and has been supported by funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense. His TED Talk on deception has been seen over 1 million times and his research has been frequently featured in the popular press, including The New York Times, CNN, NPR, CBS, and the BBC.

    Hancock worked for Canada Customs before earning his PhD in psychology at Dalhousie University, Canada. He was a professor of information science (and co-chair) and communication at Cornell University prior to joining Stanford in 2015. He currently lives in Palo Alto with his wife and daughter, and he regularly gets shot at on the ice as a hockey goalie.

  • David McCraw

    David McCraw serves as the lead newsroom lawyer for The New York Times. He is the author of the book Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts (St. Martin’s, 2019), a first-person account of the legal battles that helped shape The Times’s coverage of Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, national security, and the rise of political partisanship in America. He has been at the Times for 19 years and currently holds the position of deputy general counsel.

    More About David McCraw

    In addition to advising the newsroom on libel and other legal issues, he is one of the nation’s most prolific litigators of Freedom of Information cases, having brought more than 85 suits against the federal government over the past decade seeking the release of secret information. He also oversees international security for Times journalists and has worked as the crisis response manager when reporters and photographers have been kidnapped or detained abroad.

    He is a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School and an adjunct professor at the NYU Law School. He previously was deputy general counsel at the New York Daily News and a litigation associate at Clifford Chance and Rogers & Wells. McCraw is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University, and Albany Law School.

  • Dani Shapiro, P'22

    Dani Shapiro is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling memoir Inheritance, which was published in January 2019 by Knopf. Her other books include the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Along with teaching writing workshops around the world, Shapiro has taught at Columbia and New York University, and is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. In February of 2019, she launched an original podcast, Family Secrets, in collaboration with iHeartMedia. An iTunes Top 10 podcast, the series features stories from guests who—like Shapiro—have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

  • Mitali Thakor

    Mitali Thakor

    Mitali Thakor is an assistant professor in the Science in Society Program. Her research interests include policing, computer vision, child pornography, content moderation, queer studies of the child, robotics, prosthetics, and sex work. Her current book project, Facing the Child (MIT Press), is an ethnography of artifice, evidence, and the global policing of child pornography. Mitali earned her PhD from MIT's Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, & Society, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Sexualities Project at Northwestern. Mitali is also a professional birth doula. You can read more about her work at and find her on Twitter at @mitalithakor.


  • Marc Eisner

    Marc Eisner

    Marc Eisner is Henry Merritt Wriston Chair of Public Policy and professor of government at Wesleyan University. He works on United States political economy and public policy, with a focus on the dynamics of regulatory change and governance in the contemporary period. He is also the author or coauthor of nine books, with his most recent exploring how regulatory design decisions and polarization combined to create problems of regulatory drift and a growing reliance on public-private partnerships and voluntary programs.

  • Laura Grabel

    Laura Grabel, Ph. D., is a developmental and stem cell biologist and professor emerita from Wesleyan’s biology department. Her research focused on using pluripotent stem cells to examine the specification and differentiation of various mature cell types, Most recently, in collaboration with other labs at Wesleyan, her group examined the efficacy of stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of epilepsy. While at Wesleyan she had the privilege of working across disciplines bringing embodied learning and biological ethics to her teaching and research. She continues to teach as part of Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education program.

  • Benjamin Haber

    Benjamin Haber

    Benjamin Haber is a visiting assistant professor of sociology at Wesleyan University. Benjamin’s research on media, embodiment, affect and identity has been published in: Media, Culture & SocietyWomen & PerformanceWSQ; and other journals, magazines and edited collections. Benjamin has organized scholarship, conversation and performance around the theme “Queer Circuits in Archival Times” since 2016.

  • Anthony Ryan Hatch

    Anthony Ryan Hatch

    Anthony Ryan Hatch, Ph.D., is a sociologist and associate professor and chair of the Science in Society Program at Wesleyan University, where he is also affiliated with African American studies, environmental studies, and sociology. Professor Hatch’s work draws on critical social theories and science and technology studies to examine health systems, medical technology, and social inequalities. He is the author of two books: Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (U of Minnesota) and Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America (U of Minnesota).

  • Sebastian Zimmeck

    Sebastian Zimmeck

    Sebastian Zimmeck is an assistant professor in the mathematics and computer science department at Wesleyan University. Sebastian's research interests are privacy technology, information security, and intellectual property. His main focus is the design and implementation of privacy technology in mobile and web apps. Sebastian leads the privacy-tech-lab ( at Wesleyan. Together with his students, he is developing software solutions—often based on machine learning and program analysis techniques—to improve the compliance of apps with increasingly complex legal requirements. Sebastian is particularly interested in the ad tech and fintech domains. More About Sebastian Zimmeck

    Before coming to Wesleyan, Sebastian was a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon's Institute for Software Research. Sebastian studied computer science at Columbia University (PhD, MS) and was a Google research fellow at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology. He has industry experience advising tech companies in privacy and intellectual property matters as an attorney with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (California and German bar admissions currently inactive). Sebastian also studied privacy and intellectual property law at the University of Kiel (PhD, JD) and the University of California, Berkeley (LLM).