Social scientist and chemist Mary Blankenship is a Brookings Mountain West graduate student researcher who studies misinformation and disinformation on the internet and social media, as well as public policy and research lab solutions surrounding renewable and solar energy, climate change, and the environment.
Blankenship graduated in 2021 as an Honors College student with dual bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and economics, and a minor in Brookings public policy. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in chemistry while continuing her research with Brookings Mountain West.
The Ukraine native's most recent research focuses on analyzing over 60 million tweets pertaining to the discussion of the Ukrainian invasion, the reasons behind the creation of online propaganda related to the Russian attack, and tips to combat it.
Her published research on Twitter misinformation and the summer 2020 racial reckoning following the police killing of George Floyd made international headlines in outlets including the Las Vegas Sun, The Toronto Star, and Global News Canada. Blankenship has also examined Nigeria's Twitter ban, as well as online reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, school shootings, and other mass gun violence. In 2020, she completed an internship with the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, working on issues related to energy, environment, elections, and COVID-19 misinformation on the continent.