More or Less

Tim Harford presents BBC Radio 4's surprising and refreshing guide to statistics in the news.

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 26th July 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Radio, Statistics
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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.

Yet no politician, no economist, and in recent years no doctor, teacher, chief constable or any number of others, has been able to make a case or answer one without regaling you with numbers.

Open the pages of any newspaper and you will see risks of this, targets for that, new spending and new cuts, arguments about productivity, performance indicators, measurements, statistics and quantification of every kind.

And so was born More or Less, initially with six programmes on BBC Radio 4 and now a permanent part of the schedule with two series annually, one in the summer, one in winter.

Since January 2005 it has been produced in association with The Open University.

More Or Less is on BBC Radio 4 on Fridays at 4.30pm, with a repeat on Sundays at 8.00pm; on iPlayer; by podcast - or dip into the archive.

Irish Passports

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
The supermarket effect Tim Harford and his team investigate EU Referendum, Desk of Good News, tribute to Trumpton and Antiques Roadshow. Read more
Plastic bag plummeting Tim Harford and his team investigate plastic bag decline, Olympic medal stats, income inequality and maternal... Read more
Grammar schools, lottery wins and slimming Another edition of the statistics show. Read more
Counting Terror Deaths Is 2016 an unusually deadly year for terrorism? How many people 'die at the hands of police'? Also, Olympic... Read more
Gender Pay Gap The More or Less team investigate the gender pay gap, the cost of a hospital, Jeremy Corbyn facts and death penalty... Read more
Irish Passports Tim Harford presents BBC Radio 4's surprising and refreshing guide to statistics in the news. Read more