Known for his research in the social science sub-fields of political participation, cooperation, and social networks, this prominent scientist and author also taught both political science and medical genetics at the University of California, San Diego.
For two years between his college and graduate school years, he joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Ecuador.
He is particularly known for his research on the effects of social networks upon smoking, obesity, and happiness. Also notable are his studies on the genetic factors that influence political participation.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1992, he earned a master's degree in international relations from Yale and went on to receive a PhD in government from Harvard.
He published research that revealed that Democratic political candidates who are featured on Stephen Colbert's popular television program, The Colbert Report, receive nearly fifty percent more campaign donations within a month of being interviewed by Colbert.