Screen Time: Research, policy and communication in a digital era

Screen-based technologies have become an integral part to our daily lives over the past decade. As a result, many have voiced concerns about the potential negative effects that may come with spending too many hours attached to our smartphones, tablets and laptops. These concerns often result in highly sensationalised articles in the news media that can fuel fears about the impact that screens may be having on childhood behaviour and development. In extreme cases, we see causal links being made between over-use of video games and mass murders. However the actual research evidence for many of these claims is shaky, in part because the field is still in its infancy. 

This meeting will consist of a series of talks and interactive discussions about screen time. The aim is to bring together key scientific figures who research digital technology, along with journalists, healthcare professionals and parents to discuss what we do and do not know about the effects of screen time, and how we might best communicate risk and benefits to the public. 

Date/ location

Where: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

When: 16th January 2018, 9am - 5pm (drinks reception to follow)

Book tickets here


Keynote: Prof. Andy Przybylski, Oxford Internet Institute

Prof. Chris Chambers, Cardiff University

Tamasin Greenough Graham, Parenting Science Gang

Tom Chivers, Buzzfeed

Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson, Edinburgh University

Alice Kay, Science Media Centre

Prof. Dorothy Bishop, Oxford University

Dr Pete Etchells, Bath Spa University

More details to follow soon...

If you are interested in the event and wish to know more, or are interested in speaking, please get in touch.

Schedule (To Be Confirmed)

9am Registration and coffee

9:30 Introduction to the day and keynote talk, Prof. Andy Przybylski

10:00 Dr Sue Fletcher Watson - What does the evidence have to say about screentime and atypical development?

10:20 Alice Kay - When screen time hits the headlines

10:40 Tom Chivers - Here's why the media is so bad at reporting on screen time research

11:00 Break

11:20 Dr Pete Etchells - Specific screen time: What do we know, and what do we not know, about the effects of video games?

11:40 Tamasin Greenough Graham - What do parents want from screen time research?

12:00 Prof. Lydia Plowman - TBC

12:20 Prof. Chris Chambers - Strategies for improving study robustness in controversial research


1:45pm Intro to afternoon breakout sessions

2:00 (30 min parallel sessions) A user’s guide to controversial research

What type of research do we want, and what types of research can we do?

How can screen time coverage be improved?

3:30 Break

4:00 Q&A panel - Going forward in developing a rational policy for screen time

4:45 Closing remarks

5:00 Wine reception