British Science Festival: 5 minutes of fame and a topless 80s icon – honest gov

Sue Hordijenko, British Science Festival Director

Sue Hordijenko, British Science Festival Director

Welcome to the British Science Association’s new look British Science Festival blog. In the run up to and during this year’s Festival you’ll be able to:

  • check for the most up-to-date information on what’s happening,
  • discover the latest news from the British Science Festival team,
  • enjoy plenty of comment and discussion on the latest Festival topics from guest bloggers who are taking part

The Festival programmes are hot off the press.  Send us an email if you’d like a copy.

We have been busy talking to the media this week about some of our work, including our online survey, , which we’re running with Brunel University and the Economic and Social Research Council.  It’s really grabbed the public’s imagination.  Honesty Lab is part of a project researching into public perceptions of honesty, devised by Dr Stefan Fafinski and Dr Emily Finch from Brunel University. It’s an online test where participants view short video clips of people talking about things that they’ve done that may or may not be regarded as dishonest. Viewers are then asked to give their opinion on behaviour such as: eating grapes in the supermarket prior to check-out; exaggerating the value of an insurance claim; and lying on a CV.

Monday saw Stef and Emily on BBC Breakfast News. I got a text from Stef at about 8.15 saying ‘Emily in makeup. I’m in Green Room with Maureen Lipman and Michael Aspel. How cool is that?’ Meanwhile Emily managed to spy Morten Harket from 80s band ‘a-ha’, naked from the waist up as he changed his shirt in the studio.

Following this experience we sent Emily to a darkened room, well, a BBC Berkshire radio studio where she and Stef took part in a staggering 14 back-to -back interviews about Honesty Lab.

The response we’ve had has been phenomenal. So far over 11,500 people have taken the test. Were you one of them? If not then it’s not too late to join in at

The results will be published at the British Science Festival where you can join Stef and Emily who will be armed with a Personal Response System to ‘ask the audience’ about a range of scenarios. They also have a few activities up their sleeves designed to encourage you to reflect on your own understanding of dishonesty and to identify the factors that influence decision-making, as well as a chance to participate in a simulation of a criminal trial…

Fancy it? Tickets for the Honesty Lab event are free but you’ll need to book in advance

More soon…


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