Professor Simon Jackman
Simon Jackman commenced as CEO of the US Studies Centre in April 2016. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University.
Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics. His research has appeared in the leading journals of political science, including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Analysis, the British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies and the Australian Journal of Political Science. Jackman is the author of Bayesian Analysis for the Social Sciences (Wiley 2009), a widely used textbook on Bayesian statistical methods with an emphasis on applications in the social sciences.
From 2009 to 2016, Jackman was one of the Principal Investigators of the American National Election Studies, the world’s longest running and most authoritative survey of political behaviour and attitudes, directing this project over both the 2012 and 2016 presidential election cycles in the United States.
Jackman is also well known for his work on poll averaging, combining polls over the course of an election campaign to produce better predictions of election outcomes; he partnered with the Huffington Post in the American 2012 presidential election and with Guardian Australia during the 2013 Australian election, supplying exclusive analysis and commentary on pre-election polling. Jackman is also a frequent commentator on American politics in Australia media, regularly appearing on the ABC’s The World Today, News 24 and the 7.30 Report.
Jackman’s current research projects focus on the opportunities and challenges of web-based survey research, the political and scientific consequences of under-representing unlisted or hard-to-reach populations in social research, predictive models of political behaviour, and methods for large scale, automated coding and analysis of political speech.
Jackman was born and raised in Brisbane, and graduated with first class Honours in Government from the University of Queensland. Jackman earned his doctorate at the University of Rochester and Princeton University. His first academic appointment was at the University of Chicago, followed by a Visiting Fellowship at Australian National University, prior to taking up his appointment at Stanford. Jackman was a Visiting Professor at the US Studies Centre from 2009 until he commenced his role as CEO in 2016.
In 2016 and 2017, Jackman served as an expert witness for plaintiffs in two Federal court cases in the United States, the first successful challenges to partisan gerrymandering in the United States in decades. These landmark cases are now before the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2013 Jackman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a past president and Fellow of the Society for Political Methodology. Along with his wife and two children, he is a citizen of both Australia and the United States of America.