The National Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of experts in the fields of neuroscience, communication, child psychiatry, child psychology, pediatrics, education, information science, and public health who are passionate about advancing objective, high-level, evidence-based, multi-disciplinary research on the impact of digital media on children and adolescents. Our advisors serve 2 year terms and work with Institute staff to advance the organization’s goals, provide advice on and evaluation of the Institute’s work, strategy, structure and membership, peer review grant proposals to fund, help plan national conferences, and oversee working groups of experts and researchers on specific areas of interest.

Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH

CHAIR - Editor-in-Chief, JAMA Pediatrics; Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute; George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, and Adjunct Professor of Health Services, University of Washington School of Medicine

About Dr. Christakis

Dr. Christakis is director of Seattle Children's Research Institute's Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital. Christakis is a leading expert on how media affects child health and development. He has published dozens of media-related studies and co-authored a groundbreaking book, The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work for your Kids. His work has been featured on Anderson Cooper 360, the Today Show, ABC, NBC, and CBS news as well as all major national newspapers. Christakis received his undergraduate degree at Yale University and his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Samuel Aronson, PhD

Senior Scientist Emeritus and Former Director, Brookhaven National Laboratory

About Dr. Aronson

∂Sam Aronson has been Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory and President of Brookhaven Science Associates since 2006. He has worked at BNL since 1978 and is a Senior Physicist. He received his AB degree in physics from Columbia College in 1964. He did his graduate work under an NSF Graduate Fellowship at Princeton University, receiving his M.S. degree in 1966 and his Ph.D. degree in 1968. His research has focused on experimental particle and nuclear physics, with some forays into novel methods of particle acceleration and the search for new fundamental forces. From 1968 to 1977 Aronson held postdoctoral research and faculty positions at the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute and the University of Wisconsin Physics Department. He is a fellow of the APS and of the AAAS. He was a member of the group of particle physicists that produced the “Quantum Universe” report in 2004. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the National Laboratory Directors’ Council (NLDC) and chaired the NLDC in 2009-2010. Aronson currently serves on a number of state and regional councils and boards devoted to innovation, the commercialization of new technologies and economic development.

Carmen Gill Bailey, PhD

Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer, City of Frederick, Maryland

About Dr. Bailey

Dr. Carmen Gill Bailey is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who recently served as the Medical Director and Executive Director for Children’s School Services, Children’s National, where she and her team were awarded grants and funding to focus on equitable distribution of healthcare services for Washington D.C. children. Dr. Gill Bailey currently serves as the Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for the City of Frederick, Maryland, where she continues to focus on health care disparities in marginalized communities. She is a lifelong advocate for the health and wellness of children and families and has dedicated her career to addressing social injustice in health care.

Naomi Baron, PhD

Professor Emerita of Linguistics, American University

About Dr. Baron

Naomi S. Baron is Professor Emerita of Linguistics at American University in Washington, DC. She is a former Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, and Visiting Scholar at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. For the past thirty years, she has been studying the effects of technology on language, including the ways we speak, read, write, and think. Her previous books include Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World (2008), Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World (2015), and How We Read Now: Strategic Choices for Print, Screen, and Audio (2021).

Charles Czeisler, PhD, MD

Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine, Affiliated Faculty, Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School; Senior Physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

About Dr. Czeisler

Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP is the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine, Director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Czeisler has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of basic and applied research on the physiology of the human circadian timing system and its relationship to the sleep-wake cycle. For more than a decade he served as Team Leader of the Human Performance Factors, Sleep and Chronobiology Team of NASA’s National Space Biomedical Research Institute, which is responsible for developing sleep-wake schedule guidelines and related countermeasures for use by NASA astronauts and mission control personnel during space exploration. Dr. Czeisler has served on and consulted to a number of national and international advisory committees, including the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, the Sleep Research Society, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Air Transport Association and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation.

Tracy Day

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, World Science Festival

About Ms. Day

Tracy Day co-founded the World Science Festival in 2008 with world-renowned physicist and best-selling author, Brian Greene. She serves as CEO, and oversees the creative and programmatic offerings of the Festival. A four-time National News Emmy award-winning journalist, she has produced live and documentary programming for the nation’s preeminent television news divisions for over two decades. At ABC News she was producer for This Week with David Brinkley, editorial and field producer for Nightline and story editor for the news magazine, Day One. She produced on-location coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in South Africa, the refugee crisis in Haiti, drug cartels in Colombia, the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in Baghdad and the exodus of Iraqi Kurds into Iran in the wake of the Gulf War, and many other major international stories. Domestically, she covered the San Francisco earthquake, Oklahoma City bombing, the OJ Simpson criminal trial, the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster and numerous presidential elections. Ms. Day has produced documentaries, specials and live town meeting broadcasts for PBS, The Discovery Channel, CNN, Lifetime and CNBC. In addition to Emmy Awards, she won a Hugo Award, a 2004 Clarion Award and the CINE Golden Eagle for investigative journalism. Ms. Day is a graduate of Duke University and has been an adjunct professor in the Leadership and the Arts program at the Sanford Institute for Public Policy.

Karen Dill-Shackleford, PhD

Editor, Psychology of Popular Media and Faculty, Media Psychology Doctoral Program, Fielding Graduate University

About Dr. Dill-Shackleford

Karen Dill-Shackleford is a social psychologist who studies the role of pop culture media in identity and social life. She has expertise in narrative psychology, researching the role of film, television and other storytelling media in social learning, identity and relationships. Her work includes what of fans of pop culture media gain from their imaginative experiences. Ultimately, she is interested in understanding how we use our experiences with characters and stories to change how we see the world and our place in it. She has focused particular attention on our understanding of how popular culture depictions of social categories such as race, gender and sexual orientation influence our understanding of the social world including identity, social standing, prejudice and well-being. She also does research on social media, including how we construct social realities via social media messaging. She is the author of How Fantasy Becomes Reality (Oxford, 2009, 2016), co-author of Finding Truth in Fiction (Shackleford & Vinney, Oxford, 2020) the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology (2013, 2nd edition forthcoming) and the Editor of Psychology of Popular Media, a research journal published by the American Psychological Association. Dr. Shackleford received the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the APA Division on Media Psychology and Technology in 2021; Her TEDx talk is called Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter are Real. She received the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from APA’s Div. 46 – Media Psychology and Technology.

Elizabeth Englander, PhD

Professor of Psychology; Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center, Bridgewater State University

About Dr. Englander

Elizabeth Kandel Englander is a professor of Psychology and the founder and Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University, a Center which delivers programs, resources, and research for the state of Massachusetts and nationwide. She is a nationally recognized researcher and expert in the area of bullying and cyberbullying, childhood causes of aggression and abuse, and children’s use of technology.

Lauren Hale, PhD

Professor of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine; Founding Editor-in-Chief, Sleep Health

About Dr. Hale

Lauren Hale, PhD (Professor of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine; Core Faculty, Program in Public Health; Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University) studies the social patterning of sleep health and how it contributes to inequalities in health and well-being with current or previous funding from NICHD, NIDDK, NHLBI, and NIA. Dr. Hale has over 140 publications in peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Hale serves on the Board of Directors (Chair) of the National Sleep Foundation and is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Sleep Health. She also serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the Pajama Program.

Carrie James, PhD

Research Associate and Principal Investigator, Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education

About Dr. James

Dr. Carrie James is a Principal Investigator at Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A sociologist by training for over a decade, she has led research and educational initiatives focused on young people’s experiences in digital life, with particular attention to ethical dilemmas, civic participation, and strategies to support well-being. With Emily Weinstein, Carrie is co-author of the book, Behind Their Screens: What Teens are Facing (and Adults are Missing) (forthcoming, MIT Press). She has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology from NYU and is a parent to two technology-loving children, ages 12 and 16.

Heather Kirkorian, PhD

Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development, Associate Professor and Chair, Human Development & Family Studies, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

About Dr. Kirkorian

Heather Kirkorian, PhD is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Ph.D. (2007) in Developmental Psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she also completed three years of postdoctoral training. Her research interests include the development of attention and learning, young children's attention to and comprehension of video, and the impact of screen media on cognitive development. Her current projects address whether and how toddlers learn from interactive and non-interactive video as well as the impact of background television on the quantity and quality of infants' solitary toy play and social interactions. Dr. Kirkorian's research incorporates experimental research design, observational methods, and physiological measures sure as eye tracking and heart rate.

Colleen Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP

Immediate Past President, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

About Ms. Kraft

Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP is Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine/University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She is the 2018 Past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her work includes integration of behavioral health and team-based care into primary care practice. Dr. Kraft received her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech and her M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her MBA from the University of Cincinnati. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University. As President of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2018, Dr. Kraft is known for her advocacy to optimize the health of all children through technology and innovation. Her interests include the study of technology and its role in addressing health disparities and unconscious bias with children. She continues to speak for basic child rights for children throughout the world.

Barnaby Marsh, PhD

Visiting Scholar, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study; Former Executive Vice President, John Templeton Foundation

About Dr. Marsh

Dr. Barnaby Marsh has created or has advised the structuring and creation of hundreds of philanthropic projects. An expert in risk-taking, new ventures, and communications, he has helped philanthropists realize their philanthropic goals under a wide range of demanding conditions, worldwide. Dr. Marsh's expertise centers on creating new and original philanthropic initiatives, expanding frontiers in the sciences, and promoting new visions of human wellness and possibility. The results of his ideas and work have been featured in national print and broadcast media, and projects he has created have informed the policies and practices of the US, UK, and Chinese governments, among others. He is a proponent of integrating market forces in philanthropy, and of using prizes to encourage and celebrate breakthrough solutions. Dr. Marsh is a Summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University and has a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He currently holds affiliations at Harvard University and at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Desmond Upton Patton, PhD

Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor and 31st Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor, University of Pennsylvania; Director, SAFELab.

About Dr. Patton

Desmond Upton Patton is the Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor and the thirty-first Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor. He has joint appointments in the School of Social Policy & Practice and the Annenberg School for Communication along with a secondary appointment in the department of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine. Professor Patton’s groundbreaking research into the relationship between social media and gang violence – specifically how communities constructed online can influence often harmful behavior offline – has led to his becoming the most cited and recognized scholar in this increasingly important area of social science. His early work attempting to detect trauma and preempt violence on social media led to his current roles as an expert on language analysis and bias in AI and a member of Twitter’s Academic Research advisory board and Spotify’s Safety Advisory Council. He created the Contextual Analysis of Social Media (CASM) approach to center and privilege culture, context and inclusion in machine learning and computer vision analysis. Patton is currently a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility at AAAS.

Ellen Wartella, PhD

Sheik Hamad bin Kalifa Al-thani Professor of Communication Studies, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, and Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Director of the Center on Media and Human Development, Northwestern University

About Dr. Wartella

Dr. Wartella is Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Professor of Psychology and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. She is a leading scholar of the role of media in children’s development and serves on a variety of national and international boards and committees on children’s issues. She is co-principal investigator of the Children’s Digital Media Center project funded by the National Science Foundation (2001-2011) and was co-principal investigator on the National TV Violence Study (1995-1998). She has published widely in communication and psychology journals on children’s media issues. Dr. Wartella earned her PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and completed her postdoctoral research in developmental psychology in 1981 at the University of Kansas. She was dean of the College of Communication at the University of Texas from 1993-2004 and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of California-Riverside from 2004-2009. Before joining the faculty at Northwestern in March 2010 she was Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Riverside

Paul Weigle, MD

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist; Associate Medical Director, Natchaug Hospital Ambulatory Service, Natchaug Hospital; Chair of the Media Committee, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

About Dr. Weigle

Paul Weigle, M.D. is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Natchaug Hospital of Hartford Healthcare and teaches on the clinical staff at UConn School of Medicine and Quinnipiac Medical School. Dr. Weigle is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and serves as co-chair of the Academy’s Media Committee as well as the National Scientific Advisory Board for the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. He is a nationally recognized expert on the effects of screen media on mental health.