Mary Blankenship

Graduate Student Researcher, Brookings Mountain West
Master's Student, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Expertise: Twitter misinformation and disinformation, Combating propaganda online and on social media, National and international public policy, Renewable and solar energy, Environmental policy

Biography

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, and COVID-19 misinformation on the continent.

Mary Blankenship In The News

M.S.N.
June 28, 2022
For years, mass shootings in the US have elicited a common refrain on social media: “Sending thoughts and prayers.”
Quartz
June 28, 2022
For years, mass shootings in the US have elicited a common refrain on social media: “Sending thoughts and prayers.”
Brookings
June 27, 2022
The information spaces in Africa and other regions of the Global South like India and China have been heavily targeted by Russian disinformation and propaganda campaigns in recent months and years. In the case of Africa at this moment, Russia’s objectives are not only to justify its invasion of Ukraine, but to sway African countries to support Russia’s actions and secure Russia’s influence over the region, especially as the country becomes increasingly isolated from the United States and Europe.
Brookings
June 15, 2022
This has been a horrific month in America. While Ukrainians fight for their nation and their lives amid an aggressive Russian invasion, Americans are dealing with the slaughter of their schoolchildren and peaceful grocery shoppers (among others) by their own citizens. And yet at least half of our polity is unmoved and unwilling to support restrictive measures against gun ownership that have proven effective at stopping mass murders in at least 10 other wealthy countries, including the U.K., New Zealand, Scotland, and Australia.

Articles Featuring Mary Blankenship

UNLV Football players entering Allegiant Stadium
Campus News | May 2, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

UNLV's first conference tournament championship—and automatic bid to the NCAA Championship—since winning the Big West in 1994. It will be the Lady Rebels first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. March 9, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | April 1, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.