300 episodes

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

More or Less: Behind the Stats BBC

    • News
    • 4.5, 4 Ratings

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

    False negatives, testing capacity and pheasants

    False negatives, testing capacity and pheasants

    As lockdowns begin to lift the government is relying on testing and contact tracing programmes to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections. But how accurate are the swab tests used to diagnose the disease?

    The UK Statistics Authority has criticised the government for the way it reports testing figures, saying it’s not surprising that these numbers “are so widely criticised and often mistrusted.” We take a look at how the government achieved its target of developing a daily testing capacity of 200,000 by the end of May.

    Can we really have only 60 harvests left in the world? Plus, the very pleasant Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a pleasant pheasant question for us.

    • 27 min
    Obeying lockdown, flight arrivals and is this wave of the epidemic waning?

    Obeying lockdown, flight arrivals and is this wave of the epidemic waning?

    More than 35,000 people in the UK have now officially died from Covid-19, but what does the data show about whether this wave of the epidemic is waning? We ask who respects lockdown, who breaks it, and why?

    Our listeners are astounded by how many people allegedly flew into the UK in the first three months of the year - we’re on the story. We look at the performance of the Scottish health system on testing. And some pub-quiz joy involving a pencil.

    • 27 min
    60 Harvests and statistically savvy parrots

    60 Harvests and statistically savvy parrots

    A listener asks if there can really only be 60 harvests left in Earth's soil. Are we heading for an agricultural Armageddon? Plus we meet the parrots who are the first animals, outside humans and great apes, to be shown to understand probability.

    (image: Kea parrots in New Zealand)

    • 8 min
    School re-opening, Germany’s Covid-19 success and statistically savvy parrots

    School re-opening, Germany’s Covid-19 success and statistically savvy parrots

    Risk expert David Spiegelhalter discusses whether re-opening some schools could be dangerous for children or their teachers. We ask what’s behind Germany’s success in containing the number of deaths from Covid-19. Many governments across the world are borrowing huge sums to prop up their economies during this difficult time, but with everyone in the same boat who are they borrowing from? Plus we revisit the UK’s testing figures yet again and meet some statistically savvy parrots.

    • 28 min
    Social Distancing and Government Borrowing

    Social Distancing and Government Borrowing

    As lockdowns start to lift, many countries are relying on social distancing to continue to slow the spread of coronavirus. The UK says we should stay 2 metres apart, the World Health Organisation recommends 1 metre, Canada six feet. So where do these different measurements come from?

    Plus, governments around the world are trying to prop up their economies by borrowing money. But with everyone in the same situation, where are they borrrowing from?

    • 9 min
    Vitamin D, explaining R and the 2 metre rule

    Vitamin D, explaining R and the 2 metre rule

    R is one of the most important numbers of the pandemic. But what is it? And how is it estimated? We return to the topic of testing and ask again whether the governments numbers add up. As the government encourages those who can’t work at home to return to their workplaces - we’re relying on social distancing to continue to slow the spread of the virus. But where does the rule that people should stay 2 metres apart come from? And is Vitamin D an under-appreciated weapon in the fight against Covid-19?

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

tvd-lux ,

Love it

Please continue this podcast I’m addicted. Insightful , you guys are giving me a new perspective on everyday beliefs people have that my be wrong .

Top Podcasts In News

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC