Sandra González-Bailón, Ph.D.

Portrait of Sandra González-Bailón
Associate Professor of Communication

Sandra González-Bailón is an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences. Prior to joining Penn, she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (2008-2013), where she is now a Research Associate. She completed her doctoral degree in Nuffield College (University of Oxford) and her undergraduate studies at the University of Barcelona. Her research lies at the intersection of network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. She leads the research group DiMeNet –acronym for Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication.

Her book Decoding the Social World (MIT Press, December 2017) explains how data science and the analysis of networks help us solve the puzzle of unintended consequences – or why our intentional actions often trigger outcomes that we did not intend or even envision. The key to the puzzle, the book argues, is to integrate different levels of analysis in our theories of social change, something we can do now because of new data and computational tools.

Her most recent project, “Digital News and the Consumption of Information Online” (2017-2020) is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Selected Publications


Uploaded on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 11:15am
In her new book, to be published Nov. 2017 by The MIT Press, Sandra González-Bailón explains how new tools are allowing us to understand social life...
Uploaded on Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 2:30pm
Professor Sandra González-Bailón gave a lecture entitled Decoding the Social World at Princeton University's Summer Institute in Computational Social...
Uploaded on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 1:51pm
In a new study published in Science Advances, a team of researchers including Annenberg Professor Sandra González-Bailón developed a new methodology...
Uploaded on Monday, December 7, 2015 - 11:09am
People who casually like or retweet activist content on social media are often criticized as "slacktivists." But in analyzing millions of tweets...
Uploaded on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 11:23am
Research from the DiMeNet Group on "Network Effects in the Academic Market: Mechanisms for Hiring and Placing Ph.D.s in Communication (2007–2014)." (...

Related News

Courses Taught

COMM 213: Social Media & Social Life

COMM 321: Big Data & Social Research (with Victor Preciado)

COMM 407: Understanding Social Networks

COMM 594: Introduction to Applied Network Research

COMM 812: Digital News and the Consumption of Information Online

COMM 848: Decoding the Social World

COMM 884: Data Visualization for Research

COMM 867: Media & Social Movements (with Victor Pickard and Guobin Yang)

COMM 894: Introduction to Networks

Sandra González-Bailón's research areas include network science, data mining, computational tools, and political communication. Her applied research focuses on the analysis of social media, political protests, mobilization dynamics, information diffusion, and news consumption.

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González-Bailón's Network

  • Activism, Communication, and Social Justice
  • Digital Media and Social Networks
  • Global and Comparative Communication
  • Media and Communication Effects
  • Media Institutions and Systems
  • Political Communication
  • Center for Media at Risk
  • Digital Media, Networks, and Political Communication Group
  • Media Activism Research Collective