Matthew Motta

Matthew Phillip Motta, PhD

Assistant Professor, Health Law, Policy & Management - Boston University School of Public Health


Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor of Health Law, Policy, & Management at Boston University's School of Public Health.

Previously, I was Assistant Professor of Political Science (American Politics, Research Methods) at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. Before that, I was a Science of Science Communication postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (University of Pennsylvania). I was also based at the Yale Law School, where I was an affiliated postdoctoral scholar at the Cultural Cognition Project.

I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, where I was also a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow and Doctoral Dissertation Fellow. My research investigates the social and political determinants of anti-science attitudes, and assesses their health policy consequences. I then aim to use insights from this work to devise (and evaluate the effectiveness of) strategic communication efforts to correct health misinformation, and promote vaccine uptake.


  • University of Minnesota, PhD Field of Study: Political Science
  • Wesleyan University, BA Field of Study: Government

Classes Taught

  • SPHPH843
  • SPHPM760
  • SPHPM844


  • Published on 3/13/2024

    Heinrich T, Kobayashi Y, Motta M. Which foreign vaccine should the government purchase in a pandemic? Evidence from a survey experiment in the United States. Soc Sci Med. 2024 Apr; 347:116766. PMID: 38502981.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/11/2024

    Motta M, Liu Y, Yarnell A. "Influencing the influencers:" a field experimental approach to promoting effective mental health communication on TikTok. Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 11; 14(1):5864. PMID: 38467750.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2023

    Motta M, Callaghan T, Lunz Trujillo K. "The CDC Won't Let Me Be": The Opinion Dynamics of Support for CDC Regulatory Authority. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2023 Dec 01; 48(6):829-857. PMID: 37497881.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/21/2023

    Callaghan T, Ferdinand AO, Motta M, Lockman A, Shrestha A, Lunz Trujillo K. Public Attitudes, Inequities, and Polarization in the Launch of the 988 Lifeline. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2023 Nov 21. PMID: 37987198.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/6/2023

    Motta M, Hwang J, Stecula D. What Goes Down Must Come Up? Pandemic- Related Misinformation Search Behavior During an Unplanned Facebook Outage. Health Commun. 2023 Sep 06; 1-12. PMID: 37674255.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/26/2023

    Motta M, Motta G, Stecula D. Sick as a dog? The prevalence, politicization, and health policy consequences of canine vaccine hesitancy (CVH). Vaccine. 2023 Sep 22; 41(41):5946-5950. PMID: 37640567.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2023

    Goidel K, Callaghan T, Washburn DJ, Nuzhath T, Scobee J, Spiegelman A, Motta M. Physician Trust in the News Media and Attitudes toward COVID-19. J Health Polit Policy Law. 2023 Jun 01; 48(3):317-350. PMID: 36441631.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/19/2023

    Motta M, Benegal S. How pandemic-related changes in global attitudes toward the scientific community shape "post-pandemic" environmental opinion. Public Underst Sci. 2023 Oct; 32(7):907-925. PMID: 37204071.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 3/1/2023

    Motta M. The pre-political origins and policy consequences of environmental justice concern. Politics Life Sci. 2023 Mar; 41(2):182-199. PMID: 36880544.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/20/2023

    Motta M, Callaghan T, Lunz-Trujillo K, Lockman A. Erroneous Consonance. How inaccurate beliefs about physician opinion influence COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine. 2023 Mar 17; 41(12):2093-2099. PMID: 36822967.

    Read At: PubMed

News & In the Media