Pete Lunn

Research Professor

Pete Lunn is the founder and head of the ESRI’s Behavioural Research Unit (BRU). A behavioural economist, he holds degrees in Philosophy & Psychology, Neuroscience and Economics. Pete’s primary research interest is how people make judgements and decisions that affect environmental, financial and health outcomes, especially when facing complex systems and trade-offs.

Beginning in 2012, Pete built a team of behavioural scientists at the ESRI that specialises in designing and conducting laboratory, online and field experiments to inform policy. The BRU team has since undertaken research for many government departments and state agencies, and has worked internationally with the OECD and the European Commission. Recent studies include investigations into: the difficulties of translating concern about climate change into action, how understanding the causes of the obesity epidemic affects willingness to support more radical anti-obesity policies, the extent of problem gambling, and interventions to support better household financial decisions.

Pete’s research has been published in international journals in public health, economics, psychology, finance, environmental science and consumer research. However, as a former BBC journalist, he believes strongly in communicating science beyond expert communities and is a regular contributor to Irish and international television, radio, newspapers and podcasts. Pete is also a member of a European Commission expert group for a Fair and Sustainable Economy. 

Pete is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Economics at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He teaches behavioural economics at both TCD and University College Dublin (UCD). Pete also regularly provides training in behavioural economics and behavioural science to public servants.