International conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2018

*** This page provided information about the first international conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, hosted by CREST at Lancaster University in July, 2018. The conference has now finished and this page has been archived. ***

International conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2018BASS18 is the first international conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security. The theme of this three-day conference is ‘From Inspiration to Impact: Research into Understanding, Countering and Mitigating Security Threats’.

When? 10th to 12th July, 2018
Where? Lancaster House Hotel and on campus at Lancaster University, UK.
Registration – Registration has now closed.


BASS18 will include theoretical, empirical and critical papers, posters and talks from any discipline on any form of past, present or future threat, which address one of the conference’s three themes: Understanding who and why; better intelligence gathering and decisions; and protective security and risk assessment. Sessions will include twenty-minute presentations, posters and five-minute lightning talks on emergent research. In addition, BASS18 will include two keynotes as well as panel sessions and various networking events.

Understanding who and why

Papers in this theme will address the subject of the actors involved in security threats, their backgrounds, beliefs, values and motivations, how they learn and communicate to internal and external audiences, and the factors that lead to disruption, disengagement and desistence from crime and violence.

Who are the perpetrators and supporters of security threats? What roles do they play in planning, recruitment, fundraising, ideological transmission and the enactment of such threats? Why, how and when do individuals or groups engage in or disengage from crime or violence? What are the processes of learning, innovation or escalation involved? And what factors and decisions lead to de-escalation, and the reporting or countering of violent extremism or criminal activity?

Better intelligence gathering and decisions

This theme addresses the issues of intelligence interviewing and information gathering from and about individuals and groups, and how they might be improved. Papers may also consider how terrorists and other criminal groups, and the services who respond to them, make decisions, anticipate and respond to critical incidents.

How can we tell if someone told a lie? What techniques can help people recall facts about an event? How are terrorist groups financed and what decisions do terrorists make to protect their security? Can social media use look unusual and how can we assess the value of the information we receive?

Protective security and risk

This theme addresses the need to better understand how we can protect ourselves, both online and in the physical world. Papers might consider how security professionals can help protect organisations and improve communication with employees, or how communities or families seek to protect themselves in the face of violent extremism or organised crime. What are the barriers to reporting friends and families suspected of extremism to the authorities, and how do people keep secrets online?

How can we patch security vulnerabilities with people rather than relying solely on technology? How can we prevent low-level breaches in security by well-meaning employees? How can we ensure that products are ‘secure by default’? What can people’s digital footprints tell us about their risk profile and vulnerabilities? Can behavioural science inform interventions to encourage more secure behaviour?


A limited number of small bursaries are available for doctoral students and unemployed or hourly-paid researchers. Find out more information and download an application from here. Bursary applications must be submitted by Monday 14th May (0900 UK time) to


Submissions to present at the conference have now closed.


There are rooms available for the conference at Lancaster University Guest Rooms and at Lancaster House Hotel; both of which are based at the University. Alternatively, there are numerous options within Lancaster itself. More details are available on the accommodation tab.

About the conference host

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), which is a national hub for understanding, countering and mitigating security threats. CREST brings together the foremost expertise in understanding the psychological and social drivers of the threat, the skills and technologies that enable its effective investigation, and the protective security measures that help counter the threat in the first place. It receives the majority of its funding from the UK’s security and intelligence agencies and works within a context of significant stakeholder and international researcher engagement.

International conference on Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2018