Hearts and minds: The science of behaviour change

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Wednesday 17 July

The Theatre

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London
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  • Fruit is placed near the till to help promote healthy snacking.

    Credit: TeroVesalainen via Pixabay


Standard £16


Concession £10


Ri Members and Ri Patrons £7

Event description

From a purely scientific point of view, many problems that our society faces have simple solutions. To combat climate change we need to use less fossil fuel. To reduce obesity we need to eat less and move more. To reduce lung cancer we need to stop smoking. The list goes on. 

So if we know what to do, why aren’t these problems solved? The answer lies is behavioural science. People can make decisions in a ‘reflective’ conscious way, but also with an ‘automatic’ emotional and habit-driven component. How this happens can help us design interventions that encourage people to change behaviour in beneficial ways. However, there is an important balance to be struck between personal freedom and helping people lead better lives. 

Join a panel of experts as they explore this fascinating area at the intersection of psychology, economics and policy.

About the speakers

Susan Michie is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL. Susan's research focuses on developing the science of behaviour change interventions and applying behavioural science to interventions. She works with a wide range of disciplines, practitioners and policy-makers and holds grants from a large number of organisations including the Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Health Research, Economic and Social Research Council and Cancer Research UK.

Nick Chater has over 200 publications, has won four national awards for psychological research, and has served as Associate Editor for the journals Cognitive Science, Psychological Review, and Psychological Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society in 2010 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2012. Nick is co-founder of the research consultancy Decision Technology; and is on the advisory board of the Cabinet Office's Behavioural Insight Team (BIT), popularly know as the 'Nudge Unit'.


The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.


This event will be filmed and on the Ri's YouTube channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.


The theatre is on the first floor and there is step-free access from the street via lift.

The closest underground station is Green Park, which is step-free.

There is space at floor level in the theatre for wheelchair users.

Seating is usually unreserved for our events. If you and your group require seating reservations, please do let us know by email and we’ll be more than happy to help. Email: events@ri.ac.uk.

Carers can receive a free ticket to an event by emailing events@ri.ac.uk.

Our theatre is equipped with an Audio Induction Loop. 

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