Psychologist takes part in Labour and Conservative Party Conferences

Stephen Lea, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Exeter, is speaking at fringe meetings being held as part of the Labour and Conservative Party Conferences this month.

Organised by the Science Council, the meetings will be held under the title ‘The Appliance of Science: growth, jobs and policy’. They will see eminent speakers making the case for science and discuss the important role government can play in supporting investment and innovation.

Professor Lea will represent the Society, speaking on the behavioural science behind citizens’ participation in a successful economy and how they respond to changing economic climates.

He says:  “Fundamentally, the economy depends on confidence.  Investors have to have confidence in the firms they Banks have to have confidence in their borrowers; consumers have to have confidence in their future incomes.  Research in economic psychology has shown some of the factors that affect consumer confidence, and that they can be strong enough to make the difference between recession and growth in the economy as a whole.  Among those factors are the messages delivered by both government and the media."

Dr Peter Banister, President of the British Psychological Society, says: “We are pleased to be involved in the party conference season for the first time through our partnership with the Science Council. Our participation is a reflection of the recognition by the political and wider scientific communities that evidence-based psychology has an important contribution to make to the development and implementation of public policy.”

The meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester will take place on 2 October and that at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham will take place on Tuesday 9 October. Both events will be chaired by Diana Garnham, Chief Executive of the Science Council.