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Damian Ruck

Postdoctoral Fellow


Damian Ruck began his post-doctoral research position in Fall 2018, having been awarded his PhD in Computational Social Science from the Bristol Center for Complexity Science at the University of Bristol in the UK.

Damian’s PhD work focused on the relationship between nation-level cultural values and socioeconomic development; including economic development, democratization and state stability. He continues to pursue these interests at UTK. 

Since joining UTK, he has developed a second interest in disinformation and propaganda campaigns. With a focus on how disinformation spreads on both the internet and in traditional media, and how  exposure to propaganda affects public opinion and behavior. This work is in conjunction with the College of Communication and Information (hyper link:

From an interdisciplinary background, he uses theory and data analysis accumulated during his training in engineering and complexity science; including big data analysis, Bayesian statistics, agent-based modeling and cultural evolution.


BEng University of Southampton Acoustic Engineering 2012

MRes University of Bristol Complexity Science 2014

PhD University of Bristol Computational Social Science 2018


Peer-Reviewed Publication

Ruck DJ, Rice NM, Borycz J, Bentley RA (2019) Internet Research Agency Twitter activity predicted 2016 US election polls. First Monday


Bentley RA, Ormerod P, Ruck DJ (2018), Origin and evolution of income disparity in U.S. obesity and diabetes rates. Palgrave Communications


Ruck DJ, Bentley RA, Lawson DJ (2018), Religious change preceded economic change in the 20th century. Science Advances


Ruck DJ, Bentley RA, Acerbi A, Garnett P, Hruschka D (2017), Role of neutral evolution in word turnover during centuries of English word popularity, Advances in Complex Systems.


General Audience Publications

Ruck D (2019), Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 U.S. election polls  The Raw Story.

Ruck D (2018), This is the link between religion and economic development World Economic Forum.


Contact Information