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Baobao Zhang

Baobao Zhang

Contact Information:

100 Eggers Hall

Baobao Zhang

Assistant Professor, Political Science Department

Senior Research Associate, Autonomous Systems Policy Institute

Senior Research Associate, Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Yale University, 2020 


Baobao Zhang joins the political science department in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs as a tenure-track assistant professor of political Science in fall 2021. She is also an affiliate with Maxwell’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. At Syracuse University, Zhang will teach classes in American politics, technology and public policy and quantitative analysis, including governance and ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). 

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Zhang was a Klarman Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University (2020-2021) and a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2019-2020). She served as a research affiliate with Centre for the Governance of AI, University of Oxford (2018-2020) and a fellow with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University (2019-2020). She was named a CIFAR Azireli Global Scholar in 2021 and received a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship in 2014. 

Her current research focuses on trust in digital technology and the governance of artificial intelligence (AI). She studies (1) public and elite opinion toward AI, (2) how the American welfare state could adapt to the increasing automation of labor, and (3) attitudes toward COVID-19 surveillance technology. Her previous research covered a wide range of topics, including the politics of the U.S. welfare state, attitudes towards climate change, and survey methodology. She is currently co-editing the "Oxford Handbook of AI Governance," under contract with Oxford University Press. 

Zhang earned a Ph.D. in 2020, a M.A. in 2015 and a B.A. in 2013, all from from Yale University. She also was an exchange scholar with Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2018-2019 and 2015-2016 and Nuffield College, University of Oxford 2017-2018.


American politics, technology and public policy, quantitative analysis, governance and ethics of artificial intelligence

Research Grant Awards and Projects

CIFAR-Jacobs Foundation Seed Grant (2021), with Kou Murayama, Catherine Lebel, Julia Moeller, Drew Bailey, and Adeel Razi

Social Science Research Council Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grant (2020), with Sarah Kreps, Nina McMurray, and Laurin Weissinger

OECD Future of Work Fellowship (2019)

Russell Sage Foundation Behavioral Economics Grant (2019), with David Knight

Ethics and Governance of AI Fund Grant (2018), with Allan Dafoe


Ethics and Governance of Artifcial Intelligence: Evidence from a Survey of Machine Learning Researchers.” (Baobao Zhang, Markus Anderljung, Lauren Kahn, Noemi Dreksler, Michael C. Horowitz, Allan Dafoe), 2021, forthcoming in the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research.

COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Hesitancy in Low and Middle Income Countries, and Implications for Messaging.” (Julio S. Solís Arce,...,Baobao Zhang, ..., Ahmed Mushfq Mobarak), 2021, forthcoming in Nature Medicine. 

Skilled and Mobile: Survey Evidence of Immigration Preferences of AI Researchers.” (Remco Zwetsloot, Baobao Zhang, Noemi Dreksler, Lauren Kahn, Markus Anderljung, Allan Dafoe, and Michael C. Horowitz), 2021, the Proceedings of the 2021 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society. 

Americans’ Perceptions of Privacy and Surveillance in the COVID-19 Pandemic” (Baobao Zhang, Sarah Kreps, Nina McMurry, and R. Miles McCain), 2020, PLoS ONE 15(12): e0242652. Coverage in Bloomberg and IEEE Spectrum; shared with the World Health Organization. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242652

Factors Associated with US Adults’ Likelihood of Accepting COVID-19 Vaccination: Evidence from a Choice-Based Conjoint Analysis” (Sarah Kreps, Sandip Prasad, ..., Baobao Zhang, Douglas L. Kriner), 2020, JAMA Network Open, 3(10):e2025594. DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.25594

Scientists’ Political Behaviors Are Not Driven by Individual-level Government Benefits.” (Baobao Zhang and Matto Mildenberger), 2020, PLoS ONE, 15(5):e0230961. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230961

U.S. Public Opinion on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence.” (Baobao Zhang and Allan Dafoe), 2020, the Proceedings of the 2020 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society. DOI: 10.1145/3375627.3375827

Coercion and Provocation.” (Allan Dafoe, Sophia Hatz, and Baobao Zhang), forthcoming in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. DOI: 10.1177/0022002720957078

Quota Sampling Using Facebook Advertisements.” (Baobao Zhang, Matto Mildenberger, Peter D. Howe, Jennifer Marlon, Seth Rosenthal, and Anthony Leiserowitz), 2020, Political Science Research and Methods, 8(3), 558–564. doi:10.1017/psrm.2018.49. DOI: 10.1017/psrm.2018.49

Experimental Effects of Climate Messages Vary Geographically.” (Baobao Zhang, Sander van der Linden, Matto Mildenberger, Peter D. Howe, Jennifer Marlon, and Anthony Leiserowitz), 2018, Nature Climate Change, 8:370–374. DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0122-0

Information Equivalence in Survey Experiments.” (Allan Dafoe, Baobao Zhang, and Devin Caughey), 2018, Political Analysis, 26(4):399–416. DOI: 10.1017/pan.2018.9

Viewpoint: When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts.” (Katja Grace, John Salvatier, Allan Dafoe, Baobao Zhang, and Owain Evans), 2018, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 62: 729-754. DOI: 10.1613/jair.1.11222

Results of a Nationwide Capacity Survey of 94 Hospitals Providing Trauma Care in War-affected Syria, April 2015.” (with Hani Mowaf et al.), 2016, JAMA Surgery, 151(9):815-822. DOI: 10.1001/jamasurg.2016.1297