In this series, a panel debates a topic with the aim of fostering interdisciplinary communication and mutual understanding. Emphasis will be placed on trying to identify common questions and on seeking to integrate knowledge from different areas of expertise.

Rationality and Irrationality in Government

Listen to the podcast|

Thursday 16 October, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE


Cass Sunstein|, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School



In conversation with

Chair: Tali Sharot|, Director of the Affective Brain Lab and Reader in the Department of Experimental Psychology, UCL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

What impact is behavioural science having on politics and business? Simplified disclosure, default rules, social norms, and ‘choice architecture’ are all being used to steer people in specific directions. Are these ‘nudges’ improving our decisions? Are they offsetting irrational behaviour? Cass Sunstein, author of Nudge and the previous Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration will discuss these new policies and the question they raise about freedom of choice.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEgovernment  


Do We Need to Shake Up the Social Sciences?

This event is jointly organised with the Department of Economics, University of Warwick|

Listen to the podcast|

Tuesday 21 October, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE


Nicholas Christakis|, Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science and Director of the Human Nature Lab, Yale University. He is also Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science



Patrick Dunleavy|
, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, LSE





 Amanda Goodall|, Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, Cass Business School



Andrew Oswald|
, Professor of Economics, University of Warwick 



Chair: Siobhan Benita|, Chief Policy and Strategy Officer, Department of Economics, University of Warwick

‘Yes’, according to Nicholas Christakis. He wrote, in the New York Times, ‘Taking a page from Darwin, the natural sciences are evolving with the times. In contrast, the social sciences have stagnated. They offer essentially the same set of academic departments … This is not only boring but also counterproductive ...’ Is Christakis right? In this event, physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis, management scientist Amanda Goodall, economist Andrew Oswald, and political scientist Patrick Dunleavy will debate this question, and then join a discussion on the issue with policy and strategy officer Siobhan Benita.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEsocialsciences