Dan Zimmer completed his Ph.D. from the Department of Government at Cornell University. His research focuses on the implications that anthropogenic existential risk (x-risk) poses for some of the foundational categories of Western political thought, paying particular attention to the historical dimension of ongoing engagement and avoidance with the subject. His doctoral dissertation examined how the political debates inspired by the thermonuclear fallout crisis of the 1950s came to be reformulated in light of the growing public preoccupation with ecological x-risks such as global warming and nuclear winter beginning in the 1980s. His research at Stanford seeks to bring this historical analysis up to the present by tracking how the contemporary study of x-risk came to be formalized in the early 2000s in response to growing concerns about the prospect of machine superintelligence.
Previously, Dan spent a year as a Boren Fellow studying the tactics used by the Gezi Park protestors in Istanbul, Turkey.