Day 1 – Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

1st November

Clifton Pavilion | Garden Room

Environmental communicators need to influence positive change by understanding how people think, respond to information and formulate their own opinions. Bringing together insights from our special pre-conference event, Dr. Michael Sanders, Dr. Kris De Meyer and Dr. Anne Hunt took delegates through the latest theories and tools from cutting edge research and practice in behavioural psychology & sociology and how they can be adapted to communication.

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Simon Garrett

Simon Garrett is Head of Conservation Learning at Bristol Zoological Society. He started off catching minnows in the Thames, and finding woodlice under bits of wood. Much, much later he gained a Biology degree at the University of Bristol and then secured a summer job at Bristol Zoo Gardens painting faces, doing animal encounters, writing and illustrating education packs, etc.

After leading an ecological study expedition to Venezuela’s Henri Pittier National Park, he secured a job as an Education Officer at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Now Head of the Conservation Learning Department (encompassing Education, Graphics, Rangers, Volunteers, Theming, Conservation Campaigns …) Simon is responsible for all matters to do with learning at Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project.

Simon has been an active participant in national, European and international conferences for the last 20+ years. He sits on the Steering Group of BNHC.

Simon’s particular interest is in harnessing the opportunity of face-to-face engagement with people (zoo visitors, schools, etc) to maximise the zoo’s impact in biodiversity conservation.


Simon‘s session at Communicate: Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science

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Watch Simon’s session at Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science event: Practitioner’s Perspective

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Michael Sanders

Michael Sanders is Chief Scientist and Head of Research, Evaluation and Social Action at the Behavioural Insights Team. His team supports BIT’s policy work through the design and analysis of randomised controlled trials, as well as the use of quasi-experimental methods and data science. The team also leads a series of trials encouraging charitable donations, volunteering, and social action.

Michael is an Associate Fellow of the Blavatnik School of Government, where he teaches Behavioural Science and Policy. He is an affiliate of the Harvard Behavioral Insights Group, and in the 2016-17 academic year will also be teaching field experimental design at the University of Bristol.

He holds an MSc in Economics and Public Policy, and a PhD in Economics, both from the University of Bristol. His PhD research focused on the application of Behavioural Science to Charitable Fundraising. He previously taught Public Policy Analysis at the University of Bristol, and worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath, and has completed post-doctoral research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Twitter: @mike_t_sanders


Michael’s session at Communicate: Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science

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Anne Hunt

Anne Hunt supports organisations to develop and evaluate strategies for increasing engagement with the natural environment, science and heritage. The role that evidence plays in advancing policy and practice is of particular interest. She supports projects emerging from the Strategic Research Groups for Learning in Natural Environments and Outdoors for All – including the Natural Connections Demonstration Project and development of national measures for children’s visits to natural environments and nature connection. Anne’s previous roles include Director of Community Learning and Volunteering for the Natural Trust, and Director of Exhibitions and Programmes for At-Bristol.  Her volunteering includes Trustee roles for the Avon Wildlife Trust, Nature in Art, and the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres.


Anne’s session at Communicate: Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science

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Kris De Meyer

Kris De Meyer is a visiting research fellow in neuroscience at King’s College London. He has worked for 6 years in the field of public engagement, bringing relevant insights from neuroscience and psychology to the communication of controversial science. He teaches neuroscience and psychology-based public engagement workshops to PhD students and science communicators, and works as adviser to artists and writers who make work about contentious issues in society (e.g., climate change, Brexit). He is co-lead author of “Time for Change? Climate Science Reconsidered”, a report by University College London on the communication of climate science, and co-produced documentary Right Between Your Ears, a film about how people become entrenched in their positions (trailer: http://rightbetween.com)

Twitter: @kris8dm, @rightbtw (Right Between Your Ears)


Kris’ session at Communicate: Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science

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Kris’ session at Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science event: Conviction

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