On social models of health

We often hear about the strain on the NHS: rising demand with limited finances. The NHS has a five year plan for change, and one of the main changes planned is for greater patient involvement and greater public participation. This is where the RSA’s work, bringing together leaders from across healthcare to realise what a […]

On health prevention

In 1854 Dr John Snow plotted cholera outbreaks in Soho, London, and related them to a contaminated water supply, dispelling the myth it was spread by miasma in the air. In 1890s New York Jacob Riis used photographs to graphically illustrate the squalor among the tenements, describing “evils more destructive than wars” that impacted catastrophically […]

On motivation and agency

There is a long academic tradition of research into huan motivation and goal attainment – the factors that compel people to strive towards and achieve a goal or ambition, whether to complete a work task, lose weight or do the washing up. On the one hand, those in the behaviourist tradition will show how behaviour […]

On Brexit

The country has spoken. And one thing’s for sure, there will be lots of attempts to understand why so many people voted to leave the EU last Thursday. A combination of sometimes contradictory opinions and explanations have been cited to explain the different levels of support between young and old, urban and rural, middle class […]

On pulling the levers of change

There’s really nothing especially new about behavioural science⁠1 yet it has gained traction with policy makers over the last decade due in no small part to the publication of Thaler and Sunnstein’s ‘Nudge⁠2‘.  Rory Sutherland refers to it as ‘putting what marketeers have known for decades into economics’. It’s certainly not rocket science. But as […]

On process over outcome

There is much current debate about the extent to which people feel disconnected from the decisions that impact on their lives. This can be disempowering at best and infuriating at worst, a silent scream that can’t be heard because no-one’s listening. This feeling is not the sole preserve of those who use a range of […]