‘Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science’ – Mobile Nucleus in Bristol

Mobile Nuclei within the NUCLEUS project consist of a minimum of twenty units to test innovative RRI approaches in different settings and environments. They aim to share and reflect the concept of RRI in the context of research and its relations with various stakeholders outside the consortium.


Mobile Nucleus Organiser: British Natural History Consortium

Person in charge: Savita Custead, Miriam Gooch

Date: October 3rd and November 1th, 2017 

Duration: 3 hours     

Place:  Bristol, UK


Why did you choose to run this event as a Mobile Nucleus? What is your purpose?

The opportunity offered by the NUCLEUS project matched brilliantly with the BNHC objectives, specially the actions that we carry out in the COMMUNICATE conference. So, it fit perfect as a branch of our Communicate 2017 conference Programme. Two ‘open discussion’ events bringing practitioners, community stakeholders and researchers together to discuss and debate latest issues, practice and knowledge in behavioural science; allowing opportunity for both practice and research to be lead and develop on reflection of one another. Our main goal was to Promote RRI through bridging the gap between researchers and societal actors.



‘Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science’, a one-day Communicate 2017 satellite event, 3 October and the ‘Changing Minds: Tools from Behavioural Science’, a session within the main Communicate 2017 conference programme

The first event sold-out -90 delegates- and hosted a wide range of stakeholders, each with their own pathways into research and society. The open discussion format was adaptable throughout the day, with a strategic round table layout that could facilitate both podium presentations, open floor discussion and fluid interaction during workshop/discussion activities on table and throughout the room.

Research and practitioner perspectives were presented and openly discussed throughout the room, achieved through the above format. The event also facilitated networking throughout in order to work towards meaningful development.

The second session was full – standing room only, and like above, featured and was led by researchers, practitioners and delegates. The format built on the above without a podium. Presentations moved around the room to encourage the intermittent open discussion. Tactically placed round tables facilitated this, giving input from the floor an equal ground to heard, as well as intermate discussion/activity. Networking and reflection was again maximised throughout the conference.


What made this event an RRI event? What made it successful?

Both events hosted representatives from educational institutions and researchers across the sector, who joined the debate as delegates, as well as directly facilitating discussion and disseminating learning as part of the event programmes. This gave a unique opportunity to both influence practice through diverse pathways into society and engage with practitioners and learn from case scenarios – what works and what doesn’t work in practice – to help steer research and better translate from lab to real world.

We contributed directly to catalyzing ongoing debates about behavioural sciences and by demonstrating to different societal actors that new forms of transdisciplinary research are possible, needed and useful.



What are the next steps?

Our Conference is the result of the cooperation with multiple stakeholders.  We will keep on linking communications to scientific research and the societal needs related with nature and a healthy environment and therefore, the NUCLEUS approach is relevant for our needs.


Impressions from researchers: Dr Cora Boushel – ClairCity, University of the West of EnglandI’m here at the Changing Minds conference in Bristol for two reasons; to share our work and what we are learning so that other projects in the region, and nationally, get to learn from us and our mistakes. And to learn from others so that we can share that back through our project, across Europe, and make sure that we are staying at the cutting edge of developments in behavioural science.”

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