When celebrated statistician and writer Nate Silver, author of the widely-read FiveThirtyEight blog, correctly predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 2012 presidential election, a lot of people used the word “genius” to describe him. And when Silver announced he was taking his FiveThirtyEight blog to
ESPN, a lot of people wondered who The New York Times would hire to replace him. The answer? A genius, of course. Friday, the Times announced a bunch of appointments to its data-driven politics and policy website, and among them is Harvard professor Sendhil Mullainathan (inset), a MacArthur “genius grant” winner who will write about economics and poverty, among other topics.

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