The Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA) will hold its first annual conference on June 18 at the Harvard Club in New York. Leading behavioral scientists, policymakers, executives, and members of the media will be on hand at the inaugural conference, which will feature a conversation between Dick Thaler (University of Chicago) and David Brooks (New York Times), as well as keynotes from Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University), and Chip Heath (Stanford University). Plenary panelists will include David Gergen (Harvard University and CNN), Maya Shankar (Director of the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team), Josh Wright (Executive Director of ideas42) and Laszlo Bock (SVP of People Operations at Google) . The conference agenda also includes sessions for networking and an opportunity to help shape the BSPA agenda.

In addition to these events, BSPA is seeking proposals for short presentations highlighting issues relating to six key areas in which behavioral scientists could have significant influence on policy. Each area will be introduced by an invited keynote speaker, followed by a handful of compelling five-minute presentations.

Policy Area Keynote Speaker
Education & Culture Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution
Energy & Environment Elke Weber, Columbia University
Financial Decision Making Dean Karlan, Yale University
Health Kevin Volpp, University of Pennsylvania
Justice & Ethics Max Bazerman, Harvard University
Management, Technology, & Innovation Adam Grant, University of Pennsylvania


The short presentation session is designed to inform and influence academics, policymakers, and managers. These talks are intended to capture the interest of the audience, convey key information, and allow for several presenters to share their ideas in a brief period of time. Presenters may use slides, but are not required to do so. Presentations should survey recent key research findings (potentially from multiple papers) with meaningful implications for policy and practice and need not present new work in progress. These presentations should not be highly technical. Rather, presenters should craft presentations in the style of TED talks. A five-minute time limit will be strictly enforced to allow for each presenter to address the audience, and presenters should be prepared to have their presentations recorded and posted to the BSPA website.

Submissions must include:

  • Presenter’s name, affiliation, title, and contact information
  • Presentation title (100 characters or less)
  • A 400-word abstract summarizing the planned talk
  • MLA-style reference(s) to any published work that will be described
  • Relevant policy area (e.g., Health, Justice & Ethics)

Submission Deadline: March 11, 2015, 11:59pm ET

Submission Website:

About BSPA

The Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA) is a non-profit membership organization that promotes the application of rigorous behavioral science research to public- and private-sector policymaking, and disseminates this work to a broad audience. BSPA unites a community of leading scholars in various behavioral science and policy disciplines, and facilitates interactions among leading behavioral scientists, policy analysts, and leaders from public, non-profit, and private policy sectors. Our goal is to encourage and disseminate innovative policy solutions that serve the public interest and are derived from the study of individual, group, and organizational behavior. The BSPA board consists of experts in a variety of academic and policy disciplines, including leading policy experts, top researchers, and premier journalists. Our partner organizations include the Brookings Institution, Duke University, and UCLA. We have received generous support from a number of organizations, including the Alfred P. Sloan, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations. Our journal, Behavioral Science & Policy (BSP), is published in collaboration with Brookings Institution Press.

Please note: Space at the conference will be limited. Priority will be given to presenters, BSPA Board Members, and BSPA members according to the length of their tenure in the Association. To join BSPA, please complete an application.