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Margaret Roberts

Professor, Department of Political Science and Halıcıo˘glu Data Science Institute, UC San Diego; Co-director, China Data Lab, 21st Century China Center

Margaret Roberts is one of the foremost experts on digital politics. She studies censorship in the PRC, and is a renowned innovator in advanced methods in China studies and in political science more broadly. Her research interests lie in the intersection of political methodology and the politics of information, with a specific focus on methods of automated content analysis and the politics of censorship and propaganda in China. 

Roberts’ new book “Text as Data: A New Framework for Machine Learning and the Social Sciences,” provides a guide for using computational text analysis to learn about the social world. In another recent book “Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China's Great Firewall,” Roberts exposes the logic of censorship in China via a close examination of the systems, which constitute it. 

Currently, Roberts is working on a variety of projects that span censorship, propaganda, topic models and other methods of text analysis. She was selected to win the Max Planck-Humboldt Research Award 2022 for her work on how the Chinese state uses information technologies for censorship.

As the co-director of China Data Lab, Roberts is involved in multiple research projects supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Henry Luce Foundation and the Alfred Sloan Foundation.

For more information, please visit her personal website.