email: jb.michel on gmail.
I am a French and Mauritian scientist living in the US, with my Bulgarian wife who is also British. 

I am a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, and just finished a one-year appointment as Visiting Faculty at Google. My collaborator Erez Lieberman Aiden and I are founding directors of Harvard's Cultural Observatory where a bunch of really great researchers pioneer the use of quantitative methods for the study of human culture. Our latest stint resulted in a good paper and a pretty addictive website

My interests are much wider than my competences, but I'm always trying to expand the latter to match the former. In research, I use quantitative methods to ask questions about things that evolve, ranging from bacteria to human society. This can involve benchwork and lots of reagents, computers, or simply a pen and paper. 


Explore cultural trends here

News
6.8 - TED.com: The talk Erez and I gave a year ago hit 1,000,000 views on the main site
5.15 - TED.com: My talk on math and history is up. 250k views so far.
3.26 - New York Times reports on the launch of our browser for scientific trends, arxiv.culturomics.org
2.25 - Nature and Science profile our work at the Cultural Observatory
12.19 - Forbes' 30 under 30 list: that was close, but I made the cut! In two months I turn 30.
11.22 - Nature GeneticsNew paper is just out. We sequence a bacterial epidemic.
10.24 - TED Fellow 2012: See you in Long Beach!

Upcoming and recent events
02.28.13 - Keynote at OFF (Montreal)
03.29.12 - Seminar at NYU 
02.26.12 - Talk at TED on the Fellows Stage
02.18.12 - Public Lecture at the Santa Fe Institute
01.04.12 - Presidential session at the American Historical Association's 126th annual meeting

Awesome Foundation grants
I'm a trustee for the NYC chapter of the Awesome Foundation - we give away $1000 grants for awesome ideas, apply here!