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
    • 4.7 • 623 Ratings

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

    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?

    GUESTS:
    Mathematician James Ward
    Adele Groyer of the Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group
    Helen Miller of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    • 27 min
    Vaccine waning, hot dogs and Afghanistan

    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?

    • 27 min
    The Bill for 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.

    • 8 min
    Covid, HGV driver shortages and protest costs

    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.

    • 28 min
    Reason, numbers and Mr Spock

    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)

    • 8 min
    The extraordinary life of Robert Moses

    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)

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
623 Ratings

623 Ratings

mkcheshire ,

great show

My only complaint is the ANNOYINGLY LOUD SOUND after ADs.

Nella2012 ,

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.

Frinnall ,

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!!

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