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What Is the "Science of Science Communication"?

Climate-Science Communication and the Measurement Problem

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government

Ideology, Motivated Cognition, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study

Making Climate Science Communication Evidence-based—All the Way Down 

Neutral Principles, Motivated Cognition, and Some Problems for Constitutional Law 

Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus

The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Science Literacy and Climate Change

"They Saw a Protest": Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction 

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: a Cross-Cultural Experiment

Fixing the Communications Failure

Why We Are Poles Apart on Climate Change

The Cognitively Illiberal State 

Who Fears the HPV Vaccine, Who Doesn't, and Why? An Experimental Study

Cultural Cognition of the Risks and Benefits of Nanotechnology

Whose Eyes Are You Going to Believe? An Empirical Examination of Scott v. Harris

Cultural Cognition and Public Policy

Culture, Cognition, and Consent: Who Perceives What, and Why, in "Acquaintance Rape" Cases

Culture and Identity-Protective Cognition: Explaining the White Male Effect

Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Evaluation of Sunstein on Risk

Cultural Cognition as a Conception of the Cultural Theory of Risk

Maggie Wittlin

 Associate in Law, Columbia Law School

Cultural Cognition Lab


Cultural Cognition Lab Projects

The Results of Deliberation (work in progress)

Several Cultural Cognition studies have demonstrated that cultural values influence individual jurors' factual findings. This project develops a computer model that expands those findings from individual jurors to juries, showing when group deliberation exacerbates or mitigates the effects of cultural cognition. Using a deliberation model developed by Robert MacCoun, I specify the demographic or cultural composition of a venire and simulate jury verdicts in different cases.

The Polarizing Impact of Science Literacy and Numeracy on Perceived Climate Change Risks, 2 Nature Climate Change 732 (2012) (with Dan M. Kahan, Ellen Peters, Paul Slovic, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Donald Braman & Gregory Mandel).


Other Publications & Works in Progress

Hindsight Evidence (work in progress; job talk).

Entering the Innovation Twilight Zone: How Patent and Antitrust Law Must Work Together, 17 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 517 (2015) (with Jeffrey I.D. Lewis).

Note, Buckling Under Pressure: An Empirical Test of the Expressive Effects of Law, 28 Yale J. on Reg 419 (2011).


Shorter Works, Including Science Writing

If High Court Reverses Teva, Litigation Costs May Increase, Law360, (Oct. 15, 2014, 8:37 PM) (with Irena Royzman & Aron Fischer).

Science and Democracy, Seed Magazine, January/February 2008.

Seeing the Unseeable, Seed Magazine, July/August 2007.

Dead Bacteria Walking,, Oct. 20, 2006.

Looking Away May Help You Face Mental Challenges, Sep. 14, 2006.

Acting Under Surveillance,, July 19, 2006.

The Universe Before It Began,, May 22, 2006.

Is the Universe Older Than We Thought?,, May 10, 2006.


Contests I've Won

Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest (now twice, nay, thrice!)

The Green Bag's Weekly Lunchtime Law Quiz

Mental Floss's How Did You Know?

...and of course, MAPKIA!



Yale Law School, J.D. 2011

Yale College, B.S. (physics) 2005


Legal Experience


Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP (2013-14)

Law Clerk

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2012-13)

U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut (2011-12)


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