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More or Less: Behind the Stats

BBC

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4

Location:

United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4

Language:

Aboriginal


Episodes

Supermarket stockpiling, A-level results and Covid-19 gender disparity

3/31/2020
This week, we examine criticisms of Imperial College’s epidemiologists. We ask how A-Level and GCSE grades will be allocated, given that the exams have vanished in a puff of social distancing. Adam Kucharski, author of The Rules of Contagion, tells us about the history of epidemiology. We look at the supermarkets: how are their supply chains holding up and how much stockpiling is really going on. And is coronavirus having a different impact on men than on women?

Duration:00:28:02

The Risk

3/28/2020
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, puts the risks of Covid-19 into perspective. He found that the proportion of people who get infected by coronavirus, who then go on to die increases with age, and the trend matches almost exactly how our background mortality risk also goes up. Catching the disease could be like packing a year’s worth of risk into a couple of weeks. (Mathematician and Risk guru, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter...

Duration:00:10:07

Coronavirus Special

3/25/2020
We’ve dedicated this special episode to the numbers surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Statistical national treasure Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter put the risks of Covid-19 into perspective. We ask whether young people are safe from serious illness, or if statistics from hospitalisations in the US show a high proportion of patients are under 50. We try to understand what the ever-tightening restrictions on businesses and movement mean for the UK’s economy, and we take a look at the...

Duration:00:27:41

Mitigation or Suppression: What’s best to tackle Coronavirus?

3/21/2020
Last week, while schools and businesses across Europe closed in an attempt to halt the spread of Coronavirus the UK stood alone in a more relaxed approach to the pandemic; letting people choose whether they wanted to go to work, or socially distance themselves. This week, things have changed. Schools are closing for the foreseeable future and exams have been cancelled. The British government says their change of heart was based on the work scientists like Christl Donnelly from Imperial...

Duration:00:09:13

The mystery of Iran’s coronavirus numbers

3/14/2020
Does Iran have a lot more covid-19 cases that its figures suggest?

Duration:00:13:43

How much heat do you lose from your head?

3/9/2020
Every winter its the same, someone will tell you to put a hat on to save your body from losing all of its heat. But how much heat do you actually lose from your head? We take you on a journey from arctic conditions to a hot tub in Canada to explain why there might actually be more than one answer... Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Leoni Robertson and Lizzy McNeill

Duration:00:09:39

Netflix vs the environment

2/29/2020
Does watching 30 minutes of Netflix have the same carbon footprint as driving four miles?

Duration:00:08:58

More or Less: Superforecasting, wood burning stoves and the real story of Hidden Figures

2/28/2020
Dipping into the archive for stories on the art of prediction and wood burner pollution

Duration:00:25:55

Artificial (not so) Intelligence

2/22/2020
Artificial Intelligence – or AI for short – is often depicted in films in the shape of helpful droids, all-knowing computers or even malevolent ‘death bots’. In real life, we’re making leaps and bounds in this technology’s capabilities with satnavs, and voice assistants like Alexa and Siri making frequent appearances in our daily lives. So, should we look forward to a future of AI best friends or fear the technology becoming too intelligent. Tim Harford talks to Janelle Shane, author of the...

Duration:00:09:30

WS More or Less: Coronavirus - The Numbers

2/15/2020
A lot has changed since our last episode covering the numbers behind the coronavirus - for a start it now has a name, Covid-19. This week news has broken that deaths are 20 per cent higher than thought, and the number of cases has increased by a third. Tim Harford talks to Dr Nathalie MacDermott, a clinical lecturer at King’s College London about what we know – and what we still don’t.

Duration:00:08:58

Coronavirus, jam, AI and tomatoes

2/14/2020
Covid-19 stats, spreading jam far and wide, cooking with AI, and James Wong on vegetables

Duration:00:23:18

WS More or Less: How fast are Alligators and Hippos?

2/8/2020
We all know that you should never smile at a crocodile, but rumour has it that alligators are great perambulators – at least that’s what a booklet about Florida’s wildlife claimed. Tim Harford speaks to John Hutchinson, Professor of evolutionary bio-mechanics to see whether he could outrun one of these reportedly rapid retiles. Also – our editor thinks he could outrun a hippo, is he right? (…probably not).

Duration:00:10:10

Tracking terror suspects

2/7/2020
Costing counter-terrorism, interrogating tomatoes, the UK's reading age, politics and GDP

Duration:00:28:24

WS More or Less: Coronavirus

2/1/2020
The WHO have declared a ‘Global Health Emergency’ as health officials are urgently trying to contain the spread of a new coronavirus in China and beyond; but not all the information you read is correct. We fact-check a particularly hyperbolic claim about its spread that’s been doing the rounds on social media.

Duration:00:08:58

Coronavirus, emotions and guns.

1/31/2020
Fact checking claims about coronavirus and whether more guns equal fewer homicides.

Duration:00:29:29

WS More or Less: Dozy Science

1/25/2020
Anxiety around sleep is widespread. Many of us feel we don’t get enough. An army of experts has sprung up to help, and this week we test some of the claims from one of the most prominent among them: Professor Matthew Walker. He plays ball and answers some of the criticisms of his bestselling book Why We Sleep.

Duration:00:09:09

Netflix and Chill

1/24/2020
The list of ways campaigners say we need to change our behaviour in response to climate change seems to grow every week. Now, streaming video is in the frame. We test the claim that watching 30 minutes of Netflix has the same carbon footprint as driving four miles. We hear scepticism about a report that sepsis is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide. Author Bill Bryson stops by with a question about guns – and gets quizzed about a number in his new book. And, how much sleep do we...

Duration:00:28:23

WS More or Less: Japan’s 99% Conviction Rate

1/18/2020
The fugitive former Nissan boss, Carlos Ghosn, has raised questions about justice in Japan. The government in Tokyo has defended its system, where 99% of prosecutions lead to conviction. Prof Colin Jones, from Doshisha Law School in Kyoto, explains what's behind this seemingly shocking statistic. And a listener asks if it’s true Canada’s is roughly the same. Toronto lawyer Kim Schofield sets them straight.

Duration:00:08:59

Weighing the Cost of Brexit

1/17/2020
Is it possible to calculate the cost of Brexit? Gemma Tetlow from the Institute for Government helps us weigh the arguments. How much does luck play into Liverpool FC's amazing season? And, crucially, how fast is an alligator?

Duration:00:16:12

WS More or Less: Bushfire mystery

1/11/2020
Have a billion animals died in Australia’s fires? And which ones are likely to survive?

Duration:00:09:07