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
5th October 2018 at 4:30PM
A-levels, drowning, dress sizes
Are boys getting more top A Level grades than girls? Last week it was reported that more boys were getting top grades than girls in A Levels. This bucked a trend which previously showed that girls got better grades. But is it as simple as boys getting better? We find out that it really depends on what subjects you take. Is a lack of school swimming lessons leading to more deaths by drowning? Are more young people really drowning due to children in primary schools receiving fewer swimming lessons? That was the question posed to us by one loyal listener after she read newspaper headlines suggesting that was the case. So what do the numbers say? Tim Harford talks to Mike Dunn from The Royal Life Saving Society. Why are dress sizes so weird? "What clothes size are you?" - the question every woman hates to be asked. Not only because it's a bit rude, but because quite frankly it's hard to know the answer. Today most shops hire a 'fit' model - a real life woman who they consider to have the dimensions of their perfect customer. They then create clothes to fit her dimensions - waste, hips and bust. More Or Less takes one size 8 fit model shopping to show how sizes differ between shops.
- Grenfell Tower's Death Toll
- Electric cars, school-ready and feedback
- 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
- Transgender numbers, parkrun and snooker
- UN rape claims, Stalin, Mr Darcy
- How many schoolchildren are carers? Museum visitors vs football fans
- Surviving the Battle of Britain, World Cup and domestic violence
- Loneliness, school funding, same-sex divorce
Copyright free: The image is a drawn diagram from an academic at 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.