Late in the evening on November 8, 2016, after what felt like the “worst party” he’d ever attended, Will Adler considered his future. He was halfway through a PhD in neuroscience at New York University, but he felt a tension between his academic interests and his desire, in light of the US election results, to do something more immediately useful. So he invited fellow students and professors in NYU’s neuroscience and psychology departments to a meeting, and they began considering how...

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