There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Few people know the struggle of correcting such lies better than David Spiegelhalter. Since 2007, he has been the Winton professor for the public understanding of risk (though he prefers “statistics” to “risk”) at the University of Cambridge.
In a sunlit hotel room in Washington DC, Quartz caught up with Spiegelhalter recently to talk about his unique job. The conversation sprawled from the wisdom of eating bacon (would you swallow any other known carcinogen?), to the serious crime of manipulating charts, to the right way to talk about rare but scary diseases.
When he isn’t fixing people’s misunderstandings of numbers, he works to communicate numbers better so that misunderstandings can be avoided from the beginning. Rad the edited interview here: http://qz.com/643234/cambridge-professor-on-how-to-stop-being-so-easily-manipulated-by-misleading-statistics/.
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