10 Behavioral Scientists You Should Know

Aline Holzwarth
4 min readNov 3, 2020
10 Behavioral Scientists You Should Know. ALINE HOLZWARTH

Behavioral science is increasingly being applied outside university laboratories to industry settings, making an impact in the real world. I had the opportunity to interview ten leaders paving the path for applied behavioral science, and have compiled them here.

These ten behavioral scientists are shining examples of impact in health, their work spanning from experimentation to implementation. From Katy Milkman’s massive tests to increase vaccination rates to Neela Saldanha’s efforts to alleviate global poverty, these leading behavioral scientists are making the change they want to see in the world.

On top of their impressive work, these behavioral scientists are interesting people! In their interviews, they share insights that go beyond their research, from random “fun facts” to the fiction book they would recommend to researchers and innovators in healthcare.

1. Laurie Santos

Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition and the cognitive biases that impede better choices. Her Science of Well-Being program has helped millions of people use science to improve their lives. Dr. Santos is a Professor of Psychology at Yale. Read her full interview here.

2. Alison Buttenheim

Alison Buttenheim combines her interest in behavioral economics with a focus on improving child health on a global level. Her work provides new insights to help parents make better choices for their children, and to improve take-up of evidence-based preventive services. Dr. Buttenheim is a public health researcher and behavioral epidemiologist with a host of appointments at the University of Pennsylvania. Read her full interview here.

3. Amy Bucher

Amy Bucher helps people change behavior to achieve their personal goals, especially related to health, wellness, learning, and financial well-being. Her research includes motivational design, patient and user engagement, happiness, how social relationships influence health and well-being, and cross-cultural behavior change strategies. Dr. Bucher is Vice President of Behavior Change Design at Mad*Pow. Read her full interview here.

4. Katy Milkman



Aline Holzwarth

Aline Holzwarth is an applied behavioral scientist, primarily focusing on digital health research and scientifically informed product design. alineholzwarth.com