Communicating statistics to the media: highs & lows during the pandemic: Prof David Spiegelhalter

Parish Church, Sidmouth
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The pandemic has been notable for the vast traffic in official and unofficial information and claims. I will offer some personal insights into the challenges of working with the media to try to bring some illumination to all the statistics, illustrated with some examples things that have gone fairly well, but also the many disasters in communication.
Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication in the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, which aims to improve the way that statistical evidence is used by health professionals, patients, lawyers and judges, media and policy-makers. He has been very busy over the COVID crisis. He presented the BBC4 documentaries “Tails you Win: the Science of Chance”, the award-winning “Climate Change by Numbers”, and in 2011 came 7th in an episode of BBC1’s Winter Wipeout. His bestselling book, The Art of Statistics, was published in March 2019. He was knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics, was President of the Royal Statistical Society (2017-2018), and became a Non-Executive Director of the UK Statistics Authority in 2020. He is @d_spiegel on Twitter, and his home page is

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