Joana Gonçalves de Sá is the leader of the Social Physics and Complexity (SPAC) research group at LIP and an Invited Associate Professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa. Her current research uses experimental and computational methods (big data and complex systems) to study decision-making, mainly in policy and health. Before that, she was an Associate Professor at Nova SBE and a Principal Investigator at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) between 2012 and 2018, where she also coordinated “Iniciativa Ciência e Sociedade”, a science communication and outreach team, and was the Director of the Graduate Program Science for Development (PGCD), aiming at improving science in Africa.
Joana is interested in human behavior and uses data analytics and machine learning to study complex problems at the interface between Biomedicine, Computation, Policy, Social Sciences, and Mathematics. These include epidemiology, critical thinking, network dynamics, political discourse, and their applications to human-behavior, with a large ethical and societal focus.
Joana has a degree in Physics Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisbon, and a PhD in Systems Biology from NOVA – ITQB, having developed her thesis at Harvard University, USA. In 2019, she was the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant to study human behavior using the online spread of “fake news” as a model system.