Monash helps Nudge for Better Health

Law Chambers

Last Monday saw over 160 people attend the Nudging for Better Health Conference at Monash University Law Chambers.

The conference brought together groups of academics and commentators who explored the use of 'nudge strategies' to encourage and incentivise people to lead healthier lives.  

The keynote speaker, Dr Rory Gallagher, has been seconded from the UK Cabinet Office Nudge Unit to the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. His talk focused on what role nudges potentially could play in government policy to address key health challenges in Australia today, leading to a lively and thought-provoking audience discussion.

Associate Professor Anne-Maree Farrell from Monash Law School, who was a key contributor and organiser of the conference, was pleased with the successful outcome of the conference.  

“We had some fantastic presentations, as well as great audience discussion, on the use of nudges in health, covering areas such as obesity, alcohol and tobacco control. The level of interest reflects growing enthusiasm amongst government policy-makers, NGOs, and academics on how best to tackle these pressing health challenges,” Professor Farrell said.

“The success of the conference has provided a platform to develop exciting and innovative research collaborations with key stakeholders to address these challenges in the future.”

Nudge strategies are designed to encourage individuals to lead healthier lives, as research has shown that people do not always act rationally and may be susceptible to a range of influences when making decisions. The aim is to encourage Individuals to make decisions that benefit their health, but in a way that does not unduly restrict their freedom to act.