Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4
Death, Tax and Dishwashers
New data appears to show that double vaxxed people between 40 and 79 are getting Covid at higher rates than people who are unvaccinated, but that's not the case. It's all down to how Public Health England estimates the size of different populations.
The Office for National Statistics described 2020 as "the deadliest year in a century". Now that we're more than two-thirds into 2021, we examine how this year is shaping up. We answer your questions on the new health and social care levy, and have words of congratulations and caution following Emma Raducanu's astonishing win in the US Open. Plus, where do you stand on in the dishwasher vs kitchen sink debate?
Mathematician James Ward
Adele Groyer of the Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group
Helen Miller of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Vaccine waning, hot dogs and Afghanistan
Should we be worried that the protection against Covid-19 provided by the vaccines is going down? Could it really be the case that eating a hot dog takes 36 minutes from your life? The Bank of England holds 35% of Government debt. Who owns the other 65%? Has the UK spent more on Test and Trace than on its operations in Afghanistan?
The Bill for Afghanistan
American President Joe Biden has said the war in Afghanistan cost more than $2 trillion. Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Centre for Strategic International Studies helps us unpick what’s included in this figure.
Covid, HGV driver shortages and protest costs
English Covid restrictions were lifted in July. Back then, some predicted that there could be as many as 6,000 hospital admissions a day by the following month. So, what happened?
The Metropolitan Police says it’s spent £50 million on policing Extinction Rebellion since 2019. They’re on the streets again – can it really be that costly?
The economics correspondent at The Economist Duncan Weldon puts government borrowing during the pandemic into context and talk about his new book, 200 Years of Muddling Through.
Are we running out of lorry drivers? And to what extent is Brexit to blame? We look at the numbers behind a claim that there is a shortfall of 100,000 lorry drivers in the UK.
Plus, disturbing evidence that Star Trek’s Mr Spock may actually be terrible at logic.
Reason, numbers and Mr Spock
Writer Julia Galef talks to Tim Harford about the role of numbers in helping us think more rationally, and what Star Trek’s Mr Spock can teach us about making predictions. Julia is author of The Scout Mindset, a book about how our attempts to be rational are often clouded or derailed by our human impulses, and the ways we can avoid these traps.
Producer: Nathan Gower
(Image: Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock. Credit: Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images)
The extraordinary life of Robert Moses
Dr Robert Moses, a pioneer in African-American civil rights and mathematics education has died at the age of 86. Charmaine Cozier looks at an extraordinary life, from the courthouses of 1960s Mississippi to the classrooms of modern public schools, and traces the philosophy and values that threaded their way through his life.
Presenter: Charmaine Cozier
Producer: Nathan Gower
Portrait of American Civil Rights activist Robert Parris Moses, New York, 1964. (Photo by Robert Elfstrom/Villon Films/Gety Images)
My only complaint is the ANNOYINGLY LOUD SOUND after ADs.
I share this podcast all the time!
I am so glad i stumbled upon this podcast. The explanations and statistical analysis done by the contributors is fascinating.
I would like to have access to some of the research articles, etc mentioned in each episode for further reading and education.
Interesting and well-done show
Great show! The topics are interesting and well-explained. The host is engaging, informative, and really helps the audience understand topics that initially seem really complex. Keep up the outstanding work!!