I’m just back from the sixteenth Workshop on Security and Human Behavior, hosted by Alessandro Acquisti at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
SHB is a small, annual, invitational workshop of people studying various aspects of the human side of security, organized each year by Alessandro Acquisti, Ross Anderson, and myself. The fifty or so attendees include psychologists, economists, computer security researchers, criminologists, sociologists, political scientists, designers, lawyers, philosophers, anthropologists, geographers, neuroscientists, business school professors, and a smattering of others. It’s not just an interdisciplinary event; most of the people here are individually interdisciplinary.
Our goal is always to maximize discussion and interaction. We do that by putting everyone on panels, and limiting talks to six to eight minutes, with the rest of the time for open discussion. Short talks limit presenters’ ability to get into the boring details of their work, and the interdisciplinary audience discourages jargon.
For the past decade and a half, this workshop has been the most intellectually stimulating two days of my professional year. It influences my thinking in different and sometimes surprising ways 00 and has resulted in some unexpected collaborations.
And that’s what’s valuable. One of the most important outcomes of the event is new collaborations. Over the years, we have seen new interdisciplinary research between people who met at the workshop, and ideas and methodologies move from one field into another based on connections made at the workshop. This is why some of us have been coming back every year for over a decade.
This year’s schedule is here. This page lists the participants and includes links to some of their work. As he does every year, Ross Anderson is live blogging the talks. We are back 100% in person after two years of fully remote and one year of hybrid.
Here are my posts on the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth SHB workshops. Follow those links to find summaries, papers, and occasionally audio/video recordings of the sessions. Ross also maintains a good webpage of psychology and security resources.
It’s actually hard to believe that the workshop has been going on for this long, and that it’s still vibrant. We rotate between organizers, so next year is my turn in Cambridge (the Massachusetts one).