town-panoramaThe summer school investigates the potential challenge posed by the behavioural sciences to social science, arts and humanities research. Transformative post-disciplinary engagement and experimentation in the form of a ‘bio-social science’ have been promoted to address this challenge but critical questions remain as to the precise direction this might take, the methodological innovations which might be required and the political issues at stake in developing such a mode of research enquiry.

Behavioural science research has had a significant impact on public policy, commercial practice and everyday conceptions of personhood.  Some of the more recent impact has been driven by insights from behavioural economics, cognitive psychology and affective neuroscience which forward ‘post-rational’ forms of human subjectivity and citizenship.

Examples include: behavioural economic-informed policy making (for instance, the work of the UK’s Behavioural Insights Team and the US Social and Behavioral Sciences Initiative (‘Nudge Squad’); psychological insights relating to sustainable behaviours, health, taxation, welfare, crime prevention, gender equality initiatives; and neuroscientific approaches to education, family intervention, workplace training, architecture, advertising, finance, economics and combating racism.

The summer school invites participants to explore how concepts of behaviour, the mind, psyche and brain are mobilised in the empirical sphere in which you are conducting your own research.  What are the specific encounters you have had with these concepts, what spaces and sites are involved, and what kind of methods have been useful in investigating the practices which you are investigating? Where does your research fit between behavioural and social science modes of explanation and how does this shape the analysis you can offer?

The event will involve sessions chaired by Dr Ben Anderson, Dr Maria Fannin, Professor Rhys Jones, Professor Joe Painter, Dr Jessica Pykett and Professor Mark Whitehead.

Keynote speaker: Dr Felicity Callard, Department of Geography, Durham University and Director of Hubbub at Wellcome Collection.

Book a place by 14th August by clicking here and choosing the ‘Category’ tab.

  • Accommodation will be provided for free for one night. There is a booking fee of £10 to cover administrate costs.
  • 5 postgraduate bursaries of £50 are available to the first 5 applicants. Please email to apply.
  • This is part of the ESRC Seminar Series on Behaviour Change and Psychological Governance

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Centre for Medical Humanities
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