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  • Behavioural science can enhance ocean sustainability by providing insights into illegal fishing. Current enforcement criminalizes small-scale fishers and fails to address root causes, letting large-scale illegal fishing off the hook. Efforts to address illegal fishing would benefit from more holistic behavioural research.

    • Dyhia Belhabib
    • Philippe Le Billon
    • Nathan J. Bennett
  • COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy amongst Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups has recently been well observed, and is symptomatic of wider health inequalities. An approach that unites insights from sociology and medicine is the only way to address this pressing issue.

    • Norris E. Igbineweka
    • Nomathamsanqa Tshuma
    • Noémi B. A. Roy
  • Nudges are tools to achieve behavioural change. To evaluate nudges, it is essential to consider not only their overall welfare effects but also their distributional effects. Some nudges will not help, and might hurt, identifiable groups. More targeted, personalized nudging may be needed to maximize social welfare and promote distributive justice.

    • Cass R. Sunstein
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, conspiracy theorists have exploited the provisional nature of scientific consensus and the realities of how science is conducted to paint scientists and public health leaders as malign actors.

    • Kathleen Hall Jamieson
  • Reading scientific papers is a necessary part of the research enterprise, but poor writing impedes the flow of information from authors to their audiences. We argue that a return to narrative in scientific writing is not incompatible with rigour and objectivity; it can mitigate information overload and achieve the core purpose of publication: to communicate.

    • Paula L. Croxson
    • Liz Neeley
    • Daniela Schiller
  • At Wellcome we are committed to finding the next generation of approaches for youth anxiety and depression. Since 2020 we have been learning what works, for whom, and why, by commissioning reviews into the ‘active ingredients’ of successful interventions. Here we share four key calls to action that we hope the mental health science community can take forward.

    • Catherine L. Sebastian
    • Inês Pote
    • Miranda Wolpert
  • What is the long-term impact of technological advances on cognitive abilities? We critically examine relevant findings and argue that there is no clear evidence for detrimental lasting effects of digital technology on cognitive abilities. But we also suggest how digital technology may be changing predominant ways of cognition.

    • Lorenzo Cecutti
    • Anthony Chemero
    • Spike W. S. Lee
  • Research over the past decades has demonstrated the explanatory power of emotions, feelings, motivations, moods, and other affective processes when trying to understand and predict how we think and behave. In this consensus article, we ask: has the increasingly recognized impact of affective phenomena ushered in a new era, the era of affectivism?

    • Daniel Dukes
    • Kathryn Abrams
    • David Sander
  • Science is still an enterprise in which positions of power are mainly held by white, cis-gender, male academics. We discuss how the legacy of science’s exclusionary past still persists in scientific structures and propose concrete changes to open the system to a more diverse future.

    • Luisa Maria Diele-Viegas
    • Tábata Elise Ferreira Cordeiro
    • Luciana Leite
  • Research centres in low- and middle-income countries are routinely circumvented in the production of cross-cultural research on human behaviour. Where local contributions are made, collaboration is rarely equitable and often uncredited in co-authorship. Efforts to decolonize the social sciences will remain inadequate until these norms are overturned.

    • Mark Urassa
    • David W. Lawson
    • Caitlyn Placek
  • Many US federal agencies apply principles from risk communication science across a wide variety of hazards. In so doing, they identify key research and practice gaps that, if addressed, could help better serve the nation’s communities and greatly enhance practice, research, and policy development.

    • William M. P. Klein
    • Alycia K. Boutté
    • William T. Riley
  • Conferences are a pivotal part of the scientific enterprise, but large in-person meetings have several disadvantages. As the pandemic experience has shown, online meetings are a viable alternative. Accelerating efforts to improve conferences in virtual formats can lead to a more equitable and sustainable conference culture.

    • Sarvenaz Sarabipour
    • Aziz Khan
    • Tomislav Mestrovic
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused rushed digitalization of primary and secondary (K12) student education, and cyber-risks such as bullying, technology addiction, and misinformation must be addressed. There is an urgent need to coordinate global efforts for digital skills education and training, which can help students succeed in the digital age while curbing risks and inequality.

    • Joshua A. Jackman
    • Douglas A. Gentile
    • Yuhyun Park
  • The harassment of researchers working in the social sciences—not rarely an organized effort targeting members of marginalized groups—is most alarming. Its implications reach from severe personal consequences to the risk of scientific self-censorship. We invite readers to engage in a much-needed discourse about this worrisome phenomenon.

    • Jan-Philipp Stein
    • Markus Appel
  • The year 2020 has been marked by unprecedented cascading traumas, including the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic recession, race-driven social unrest and weather-related disasters. Mental health consequences of direct and media-based exposure to compounding stressors may be profound. Policymakers must act to ease the burden of trauma to protect public health.

    • Roxane Cohen Silver
    • E. Alison Holman
    • Dana Rose Garfin
  • Social and behavioural scientists have attempted to speak to the COVID-19 crisis. But is behavioural research on COVID-19 suitable for making policy decisions? We offer a taxonomy that lets our science advance in ‘evidence readiness levels’ to be suitable for policy. We caution practitioners to take extreme care translating our findings to applications.

    • Hans IJzerman
    • Neil A. Lewis Jr.
    • Farid Anvari
  • Twitter announced on 18 June 2019 that it would remove the precise geotagging feature in tweets. In addition to protecting the location privacy of users, this change also affects human behaviour studies based on geotagged tweets. We discuss the potential impact of Twitter’s decision and how researchers can respond to this change.

    • Yingjie Hu
    • Ruo-Qian Wang
  • The impact of pandemics is magnified by the coexistence of two contradicting reactions to rare dire risks: panic and the ‘it won’t happen to me’ effect that hastens spread of the disease. We review research that clarifies the conditions that trigger the two biases, and we highlight the potential of gentle rule enforcement policies that can address these problematic conditions.

    • Ido Erev
    • Ori Plonsky
    • Yefim Roth