Saturday, June 13, 2020

Beginning New Role at LSE PBS

As mentioned in the first post, I will shortly begin a new role as head of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE. The Department has existed in various forms since the 1960s and was redeveloped recently to bring together faculty from a number of divisions to form an integrated unit. The Department runs 6 MSc programmes across social and organisational psychology and behavioural science, including an Executive MSc that takes in approximately 50 professionals from across the world each year to develop behavioural science within their organisations. An undergraduate programme was also recently established that is one of the first to offer a full undergraduate education in this broad transdisciplinary area. The Department also houses approximately 40 PhD students.

I am really looking forward to contributing to the development of these programmes. Among other things, we aim to develop a number of streams to our MSc in Behavioural Science, beginning with a well-being stream, in order to develop a group of students equipped to work on some of the biggest issues in applications of behavioural research ideas in public policy.

I also hope to work with colleagues to develop a number of initiatives to promote discussions about the development of behavioural science, including the historical and ongoing development of behavioural science, disciplinary boundaries, ethical issues, emerging evidence structures, the role of behavioural science during crises, emerging forms of practice, professionalisation. A recent event organised by our Department "Behavioural Science in the Context of Great Uncertainty" was a great example of the types of discussions I hope to foster here along with colleagues.

LSE is obviously a fantastic environment for the development of projects in this area. The Department currently has a number of long-run cross-cutting projects on well-being policy, behavioural interventions, risk regulation, poverty, and other areas. I hope personally to develop projects on mental health and public policy, ethics and measurement frameworks in behavioural public policy, and the role of behavioural science in crises. Details of research funding opportunities for people interested in working on these types of areas are available here.

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