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Jeremy Bailenson

of Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, Professor (by courtesy) of Education, Professor (by courtesy) Program in Symbolic Systems, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity. He earned a B.A. cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994 and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Northwestern University in 1999. He spent four years at the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and then an Assistant Research Professor.

Bailenson studies the psychology of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. His lab builds and studies systems that allow people to meet in virtual space, and explores the changes in the nature of social interaction. His most recent research focuses on how VR can transform education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health.

He has published more than 100 academic papers, in interdisciplinary journals such as Science and PLoS One, as well domain-specific journals in the fields of communication, computer science, education, environmental science, law, marketing, medicine, political science, and psychology. His work has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation for 15 years, and he receives grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, DARPA, various nonprofit foundations, and corporations based in Silicon Valley and abroad. He is the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford.

He has written opinion pieces for The Washington Post, Slate, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and has produced three VR documentary experiences which were official selections at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016 and 2017.

His new book, “Experience on Demand” will be published by Norton in January.

Watch Charlie Rose interview Jeremy Bailenson about human behavior and virtual reality.

Virtual Reality can help politicians make responsible decisions about the environment

There’s been no shortage of apocalyptic images lately, from massive hurricanes in the Caribbean and Texas to California’s deadliest wildfires ever. Scientists say global warming has magnified the impact of disasters like these. Still, some legislators deny the impact of climate change or oppose any restrictions on carbon emissions. I’ve long said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a virtual reality experience is worth 1,000 pictures. Could virtual reality change their minds?