Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to confirm the three keynote speakers for the 2017 conference.

Professor Pamela Gallagher, Dublin City University

Pamela Gallagher

Having completed her PhD in Trinity College Dublin, Pamela worked in the Disability Databases Division of the Health Research Board, before joining the School of Nursing and Human Sciences, Dublin City University. Here she has led the development of undergraduate and postgraduate psychology and multidisciplinary programmes.

She co-ordinates and teaches in the area of health psychology, psychology, illness and disability, and psychological assessment. She leads the ‘Living well with illness, disability and technology’ research programme and also co-directs the Dublin Psychoprosthetics Group, a unique multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians interested in applying many and varied aspects of psychology to prosthetic use, especially in regard to the rehabilitation of people with amputations. Her research, which she has published widely, focuses on psychosocial impacts of and adjustment to illness and disability with a particular interest in amputation and prosthetics, cancer survivorship, physical rehabilitation, assistive technology and outcome measurement. In 2015/16, she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, USA.

'Living well with the consequences of illness, injury and its treatment'.

With public health, medical and technological advances, there are increasing numbers of people surviving illnesses and injuries, and often living with long-term consequences and challenges. This presentation will discuss findings from a research programme that applies psychological knowledge and theory to enable individuals with physical disabilities and/or chronic illness to achieve optimal physical, psychological and social functioning and outcomes.

Underpinned by the WHO ICF and drawing on exemplars from limb loss and cancer survivorship studies, the talk will examine the psychological, social, cognitive, environmental and technological factors involved in managing and living with and beyond these conditions and their consequences. Central to this research programme is an emphasis on the individual experience of the person, the inclusion of personal perspectives and preferences, and the person as a central worker in their care and rehabilitation. There is also a particular focus on the role of assistive technology in enabling people to live personally meaningful lives.

Professor Susan Michie, University College London

Susan Michie

Susan Michie (BA, MPhil, DPhil, CPsychol, AcSS, FEHPsS, FBPsS) is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, UK.

She studied Experimental Psychology and completed a DPhil in Developmental Psychology at Oxford University and clinical psychology training at the Institute of Psychiatry, London University. She is a chartered clinical and health psychologist, and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) and the British Psychological Society (BPS). She is Past President of the EHPS and Past Chair of the BPS's Division of Health Psychology. She is an NIHR Senior Investigator and leads part of UK’s School for Public Health Research. Current editorial responsibilities include Associate Editor of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and of Implementation Science.

Susan Michie’s research focuses on behaviour change in relation to health: how to understand it theoretically and apply theory to intervention development, evaluation and implementation, and to evidence synthesis. Her research investigating innovative methods for developing, evaluating and implementing behavioural interventions is conducted in three main health domains: risk factors amongst the general population (e.g. smoking, excessive alcohol consumption), managing long-term conditions (e.g. diabetes) and professional practice.

'Building the science of behaviour change: The Human Behaviour-Change Project'

Behaviour change is essential if major health problems such as obesity and cancer are to be tackled. Evidence is needed by researchers, policy-makers and practitioners about the effectiveness of interventions in different contexts. Such evidence is currently being produced on a vaster scale than humans can synthesise and access.

The Human Behaviour Change Project brings together behavioural, computer and information scientists to build an Artificial Intelligence system to scan the world literature on behaviour change, extract key information and use this to build and update a model of human behaviour to answer the big question: ‘What works, compared to what, how well, for whom, in what settings, for what behaviours and why?’

The project involves an iterative process including:

1. A consensus process with international experts to develop an ontology (structure for organising knowledge) of behaviour change interventions suitable for computation.

2. Annotate published literature using the ontology and Natural Language Processing.

3. ‘Train’ an Artificial Intelligence system to extract information from published evidence automatically.

4. Use Machine Learning to extract, synthesise and interpret the evidence, generating novel hypotheses.

5. Develop an interactive interface to make synthesised up-to-date evidence available for users to interrogate.

The main outputs will be: an ontology of behaviour change interventions; a machine learning system capable of extracting and interpreting evidence from published literature and making inferences where evidence is lacking; and an interface allowing users (researchers, policy-makers and practitioners) to obtain up-to-date evidence answering their specific questions about behaviour change interventions.

Professor Liam Delaney, University of Stirling

Liam Delaney

Liam Delaney is Professor of Economics at UCD and Visiting Professor of Economics at Stirling University.

A former Fulbright and Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow, he was Deputy Director of the UCD Geary Institute from 2008 to 2011, and Deputy Dean of Stirling Management School from 2011 to 2016. He has worked at the intersection of economics and psychology for his career and has published widely in both economics and psychology journals, including Economic Journal, Journal of European Economics Association, Health Psychology, Psychological Science, and Journal of Applied Psychology. He is particularly interested in the measurement foundations of behavioural welfare economics and has built several interdisciplinary projects examining how to measure real-world economic preferences. He is currently developing a major new centre for behavioural science and public policy at UCD Geary Institute.

'Behavioural economics and health'

This talk will address the overlap between health psychology and behavioural economics. Both disciplines have common roots in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and statistics but emerged as distinct sub-disciplines of economics and psychology during a long period of separation of both parent disciplines.

Given the history of development, both disciplines have addressed similar topics often in very different ways and this creates a great deal of opportunity for collaboration as well as confusion. Some key areas I will address include: the development of the nudge agenda in public policy; inter-temporal and risky choice; economic evaluation; ethical and normative issues in large-scale public policy intervention; and optimal conditions for interdisciplinary public policy research.