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New National Strategy for Behavioural Science

“Exciting Step Change” Say Experts

The Behavioural Science and Public Health Network, a body of academics, policymakers and practitioners, strongly welcomed the launch of the first national strategy on behavioural science in public health by Public Health England today.

Calling it a “step change for improving and protecting the health of the public” Dr Angel Chater the Network Chair said the strategy would “further embed and showcase the contribution of behavioural and social sciences to the next wave of public health”.

She continues; “We were among the lead authors on this strategy, and delighted to host the resources supporting the strategy on our website. Today marks a starting point on the journey to ensuring the broad range of behavioural and social sciences further their contribution to public health”.

Past Chair of the Network and one of the Strategy Lead Authors, Professor Jim McManus adds; "This is the first word in a continuing conversation. Behavioural and social sciences encompass rich and diverse fields and disciplines. We recognise that the current document focuses more on behavioural science and some social sciences may feel their involvement and importance is not yet fully recognised. This is not intended in any way to minimise their engagement and contribution, and all the agencies involved in the Strategy commit to ensuring that we will create opportunities for a range of sciences to contribute to improving and protecting the health of the public”.

Michelle Constable, a lead author was keen to point out “this strategy is about ensuring practitioners, academics and policymakers can use the best scientific tools available to improve people’s lives. The Strategy will help us make a step change in that, which can only be good for people”.

Dr Chater concludes; “As a network, we started as health psychologists. As an organisation our bedrock has been supporting the integration of health psychology into public health. We will continue to ensure we champion, build and emphasise the contribution of health psychology, while at the same time fully championing the role of behavioural and social sciences in their contribution to public health”.

Read the national strategy: Improving People's Health: Applying behavioural and social sciences to improve population health and wellbeing in England.