Dr Mathias Poertner

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Key to the vision of the LSE Data Science Institute (DSI) is its role in fostering multi-disciplinary collaboration at LSE. The DSI brings together LSE’s specialist expertise in the social sciences with technical expertise in machine learning and AI.

One example of this in practice is the focus of this data science spotlight, Dr Mathias Poertner. Mathias is an Assistant Professor of Political Science based in the Department of Government.

The Department of Government has recognised that politics, like other sectors of society, is undergoing a rapid digital transformation. Its newly-established BSc Politics and Data Science highlights the applications of data science to the political world, such as the question of how data science can be used for good by governments, political organisations, and other actors. The DSI is proud to support the Department of Government at the intersection of politics and data.



"The LSE Data Science Institute is uniquely positioned to bring together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds who use a broad range of cutting-edge approaches.

In doing so, the DSI can advance transparent research practices and accumulation of knowledge and play a key role in ongoing debates on the crucial political, social, and economic issues of our time."

- Dr Mathias Poertner


As a researcher of political behaviour and comparative politics, Mathias has held a longstanding interest in data science and the use of new forms of data. Mathias combines design-based and model-based research and relies on randomised experiments, quasi-experiments, large-scale surveys, and the analysis of unstructured data using machine learning techniques.

Mathias is an active member of the DSI Affiliate scheme, which connects a network of current LSE staff who are engaged with data science in their research or teaching.

This activity has been recognised by a range of recent awards:

In addition, Mathias recently published a book that explores the drivers of anti-immigrant bias, and how this can be mitigated. Native Bias: Overcoming Discrimination against Immigrants builds on the findings of the articles above, by drawing from original surveys, survey experiments, and novel field experiments.

Find out more about Mathias here.