More or Less: Behind the Stats
WS MoreOrLess: The prevalence of paedophilia? 25 Jul 1407/26/14
The Pope was reported to have said that 2% of Catholic clergy were paedophiles. Is this a big number? Wesley Stephenson looks at the research on the prevalence of paedophilia and how the Catholic clergy compare to the world's population as a whole....
WS MoreOrLess: The Tour de France 18 Jul 14
The Tour de France has reached the mountains, but what does it take to be a good climber and why are the cyclists thin and bony, while sprinters are bigger with bulging muscles? And what is the best body type to win the yellow jersey? Also are 24,000...
WS MoreOrLess: Golden Ticket 11 Jul 14
In Roald Dahl’s novel "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", Charlie Bucket wins a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s factory. But one of our younger More or Less listeners in England wanted to find out what the chances would be of winning one of...
MoreOrLess: Will we die before our parents? 04 Jul 14
Obesity may mean children have a shorter lifespan than their parents, it has been claimed, but is this true? Ruth Alexander looks at the data and explores the 'Obesity Paradox' – the idea that overweight people are less likely to die than those of...
WS MoreOrLess: Is this the greatest world cup ever? 27 Jun 14
As we reach the end of the group stage are we really witnessing the greatest world cup ever? Ruth Alexander casts a sceptical eye over the statistics. She also takes a look at the possession stats to see if we’re seeing the death of tiki-taka with the...
WS MoreOrLess: Money for nothing? 20 Jun 14
When it comes to aid, what works best – giving people food, shelter, medicine, or just handing over cash and letting them spend it how they like? One group of researchers went to a Kenyan village to try to answer this question and to do so they also...
WS MoreOrLess: Heads Or Tails? 13 Jun 14
Freakonomics guru Steven Levitt joins us to talk about an unusual experiment – getting people to agree to make major life decisions based on the toss of a coin. Is this really good social science? And what do the results tell us about decision making...
MoreOrLess: Faith and Charity? 13 Jun 14
"Religion Makes People More Generous"- according to The Daily Telegraph's interpretation of a new BBC poll on charitable giving. Tim Harford investigates whether there is a link between practising a religion and whether we give. Plus: Big data - the...
WS MoreOrLess: 'Spurious Correlations' 06 Jun 14
Is the divorce rate in the US state of Maine linked to margarine consumption? It's one of many pairs of statistics featured on the 'Spurious Correlations' website started recently by Tyler Vigen. We talk to him about some of the funniest correlations...
MoreOrLess: What's Scottish Independence Worth? 06 Jun 14
Scottish independence - yes or no? Which will line your pocket more? The Scottish government says a Yes vote will leave Scots £1,000 each better off; the UK treasury says a No vote means a £1,400 bonus for Scots. More or Less looks at exactly what...
WS MoreOrLess: The Piketty Affair 30 May 14
Did 'rock-star' French economist Thomas Piketty get his numbers wrong? His theories about rising inequality and the increasing importance of capital have been the talk of the economic and political worlds this year. And part of their power has been...
MoreOrLess: The Piketty Affair 30 May 14
Did 'rock-star' French economist Thomas Piketty get his numbers wrong? His theories about rising inequality and the increasing importance of capital have been the talk of the economic and political worlds this year. And part of their appeal has been...
WS MoreOrLess: Risk Savvy 23 May 14
A famous probability puzzle is discussed involving goats and game shows with German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer. Is he right to suggest in his new book 'Risk Savvy' that we really don't understand risk and uncertainty? And More or Less listeners...
WS MoreOrLess: Did global poverty halve overnight? 16 May 14
Did the number of people around the world living in extreme poverty fall by half a few weeks ago? That's one interpretation of newly released figures for purchasing power parity around the world. The figures compiled by the International Comparison...
MoreOrLess: Tax Dodgers and Benefits Cheats 16 May 14
Does the government have lots of people chasing the relatively small amounts lost to benefits cheats, while massive amounts of tax evasion are barely investigated? Plus: did global poverty fall by half a few weeks ago; Eurovision data crunching; Willy...
WS MoreOrLess: Brazil’s Maths Superstar 09 May 14
The Man Who Counted, a book of 'Arabic' mathematical tales written by Middle Eastern scholar Malba Tahan was published in Brazil in the 1930s. It became a huge success. Malba Tahan's birthday, May 6th, is now celebrated as Brazil's National Day of...
MoreOrLess: Food Bank Britain 09 May 14
Food banks are being used by a million people in Britain according to recent newspaper reports. But what do we really know about how many people are using food banks, and does this tell us anything about whether food poverty is increasing? Plus: we...
MoreOrLess: Sir Roger Bannister's ‘impossible’ feat 02 May 14
Sir Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes 60 ago. It's one of the most famous records of the 20th Century, one that the passage of time has shrouded in legend. Was the four-minute mile really considered an...
MoreOrLess: British Law - Made in Brussels? 02 May 14
How much British law is made in Brussels - 75% as UKIP say, or 7% as Nick Clegg says? And how might the ideas of an 18th century minister help find the missing flight MH370?
MoreOrLess: Killed for being female? 25 Apr 14
Are 100 million women missing from the world? A listener asks More or Less to explore this powerful statement - "More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century." The...
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