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How do behavioural science and testing aid responses to coronavirus?

8 June 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will this week start by examining the approaches, roles and insights of behavioural science on the pandemic, before discussing the different approaches to testing.

Purpose of session

In a continuation of its inquiry into the Science of COVID-19, the committee will first hear from further leading academics as it seeks to better understand the approaches used to inform health interventions and in influencing a change of behaviour amongst the public. Following this, the committee will move on to examining testing.


Tuesday 9 June at 10.00am
Virtual meeting

  • Professor Susan Michie, Director of UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, UCL
  • Professor Lucy Yardley, Professor of Health Psychology, University of Bristol; and Professor of Health Psychology, University of Southampton
  • Professor David Halpern, Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team

At 11.00am

  • Professor Sheila Bird, Former Programme Leader at MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge; and Honorary Professor, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Sir John Burn, Professor of Clinical Genetics, Newcastle University
  • Professor Jon Deeks, Professor of Biostatistics, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Andrew Hayward, Director, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, UCL

Possible questions

  • How much has the UK public complied with regulations and guidelines so far?
  • What strategies for moving out of lockdown are the most feasible from the perspective of behavioural science?
  • If there is a second wave of the virus, how easy will it be to persuade the public to adhere to stricter regulations again? What new insights have been gained so far to inform this?
  • What are the different types of antibody that are being tested during the pandemic?
  • As countries ease lockdown restrictions, how important will diagnostic testing be to control the virus spread?
  • When using a test and trace approach, how quickly will results need to be confirmed in order to contribute to containing or suppressing the virus?

Further information