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David Spiegelhalter (University of Cambridge)
April 25 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Trust in Numbers
Speaker: Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter (President of the Royal Statistical Society for 2017-2018)
Those who value quantitative and scientific evidence are faced with claims both of a reproducibility crisis in scientific publication, and of a post-truth society abounding in fake news and alternative facts. Both issues are of vital importance to statisticians, and both are deeply concerned with trust in expertise. By considering the ‘pipelines’ through which scientific and political evidence is propagated, I will consider possible ways of improving both the trustworthiness of the statistical evidence being communicated, and the ability of audiences to assess the quality and reliability of what they are being told. There will also be cheap laughs at numerous examples of disastrous communication of statistics in the media.