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Aidan Buehler is a double major in Economics (BS) and Philosophy (BA), with a minor in Mathematics. He transferred from UNC Charlotte’s School of Arts and

Architecture, and is drawn to economic research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. Under the guidance of Dr. Donna Gilleskie, Aidan’s honors thesis in economics empirically explored the “marketplace of ideas” metaphor invoked in discussions about freedom of speech. Aidan compared college students before and after prominent “deplatforming incidents” of controversial political speakers, examining how students’ comfort discussing politics and their attitudes towards their college administrators changed.
Aidan’s thesis research stems from his involvement in multiple civil discourse initiatives. At UNC, Aidan was an Agora Fellow with the UNC Program for Public Discourse, and worked as a research assistant under Dr. Timothy J. Ryan on the 2022 UNC Free Speech and Constructive Dialogue Project. Aidan also participated in the Campus Scholars Program at the Foundation For Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), where he wrote R scripts to automate text databases and conducted original research under Dr. Sean Stevens; and the same year, Aidan worked as a research assistant under Dr. Alice Siu, doing data-processing and preliminary analyses on two deliberative polls at the Deliberative Democracy Lab at Stanford.
Outside of research, Aidan enjoys performing, writing, and mathematics. As a sophomore Aidan played mandolin for the Carolina Bluegrass Band, and later performed across North Carolina with the Chapel-Hill based bluegrass band The Bathtub of the South. Aidan also worked as an undergraduate writing coach at the UNC Writing and Learning Center, and took “math boot camp” and microeconomics with the first-year economics PhD students.
Prior to pursuing a PhD, Aidan will be joining the Becker Friedman Institute Predoctoral Research in Economics Program at the University of Chicago, working under Dr. Joshua Gottlieb and Dr. Jonathan Dingel.
Aidan thanks the two most important inputs in his economist-to-be production function: his family, and his advisor Dr. Donna Gilleskie.

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