More or Less was an idea born of the sense that numbers were the principal language of public argument. And yet there were few places where it was thought necessary to step back and think - in the way we often step back to think about language - about the way we use figures: what they really measure, what kind of truth, if any, they capture. Tim Harford explains - and sometimes debunks - the numbers and statistics used in political debate, the news and everyday life.
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More or Less
Tim Harford presents BBC Radio 4's surprising and refreshing guide to statistics in the news.
Available on BBC iPlayerBBC Radio 4 on Friday
16th February 2018 at 4:30PM
- A-levels, drowning, dress sizes
- Grenfell Tower's Death Toll
Electric cars, school-ready and feedback
Are children in Manchester ready for school?
"Thousands of children in Greater Manchester are starting school unable to speak in full sentences or use the toilet" ran a headline in the Manchester Evening News earlier this week. The new mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham also made the claim. Can that really be true asked a loyal listener? More or Less investigates.
Will we need 10 new power plants by 2040 for the electric car revolution?
Sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from 2040 in the UK. So it's expected there will be a huge increase in the number of electric vehicles on our roads. But what will happen when we all try and charge them? Newspaper headlines have quoted us as needing ten new nuclear power plants to cover it and some have even suggested we won't have enough power to charge these vehicles. So we set out to look at the numbers driving the electric car revolution.
Maths underpinning science
Professor Alison Etheridge from the University of Oxford tells the programme why maths can sometimes be overlooked. She talks about her interest in genetics and why mathematicians need to be more vocal about their work.
And we deal with a number of complaints about last week's programme.
- Are natural disasters on the rise?
- Statistics abuse, Tuition fees, Beer in 1887
- Uber, EU Passports,Counting domestic violence
- Missed appointments, Graduate pay, Cocaine on banknotes
- Gender pay gaps and how to learn a language
- A girl's first time, shark's stomachs, prime numbers
- UN rape claims, Stalin, Mr Darcy
Copyright free: The image is a drawn diagram from an academic at the OU
Uncertainty within the Realm of Statistics
Mathematician and tutor, Katie Chicot, questions the role of "certainty" within the realm of statistical data. She interviews Carol Calvert on the issue, following her talk entitled 'Data – love the uncertainty'.Read now ❯Uncertainty within the Realm of Statistics
Tony Hirst and Hans Rosling introduce us to visualising development data and explore bar charts, line charts and scatter graphs.Watch now ❯An introduction to visualising development data
Is there anything sinister in the statistics which appears to show left-handed people die before their time?Read now ❯Diary of a data sleuth: When the data you don't collect affects the data you do
Study with the OU
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Dr Katie Chicot, Senior Lecturer, Staff Tutor in Mathematics & Statistics
Katie Chicot researches infinite combinatorial structures.
Katie completed her PhD in mathematics at the University of Leeds. Desiring to bring the beauty and clarity of mathematics to a broader audience Katie became the Clothworkers’ Fellow in Mathematics at the Royal Institution. Soon after she became an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and then a Staff Tutor.
Katie is involved in many projects which bring maths to the public and schools. She is a Holgate Lecturer with the London Mathematical Society and serves on the council of the UK Mathematics Trust.
Katie has an interest in gender in STEM and has been made resources that help women to return to STEM employment such as the short course Return to STEM.
Tackling mathematical problems and encouraging others to engage with mathematical investigations are the cornerstones of Katie’s work.