Pip Pattison Oration 2019 Recap: The Roots of Computational Behavioural Science

The Pip Patterson Oration is the main event hosted by the CHDH each year. We had to postpone the 2020 Oration, but we are currently planning the 2021 Oration - Stay tuned for announcements to come!

In 2019, Professor Yoshihisa Koshima, head of the Social Action Laboratory within the Complex Human Data Hub, delivered the inaugural Pip Pattison Oration about the "Roots, Potential and Promises" of computational behavioural science, which is at the very core of the work of the Hub.

Professor Yoshihisa Kashima delivering the inaugural Pip Pattison oration

Professor Kashima observed how human behaviour is at the very core of the greatest challenges that face society today, citing the examples of behaviour-related health issues like obesity and smoking, as well as larger-scale problems like climate change and national security. He asserted that there are complex interdependencies in the causal structure of the world, and large-scale and systemic behaviour change is of primary import to tackle those wicked problems. Noting behavioural sciences’ intellectual roots, which include psychological and cognitive scientists who provided a foundation for behavioural economics (such as Herbert Simon, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky), Professor Kashima suggested that behavioural sciences can look at how affordances to behaviour as defined by the human capabilities and the architecture surrounding a choice can help behaviour change, whereas the law looks to punishment and economics to reward. By integrating the HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences) based theories and insights and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) based rigor and sophistication, he asserted, computational behavioural science can help to solve the big issues that we face as a species:

The promise of computational behavioural science is to bring together methods and theory, and contribute to public discourse and the policy cycle, so we can inform the solution to the problem for a healthy, sustainable, and safe society. Professor Yoshihisa Kashima

To find out more, you can watch the entire Pip Pattison Oration 2019 here.