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Science

More or Less: Behind the Stats

Updated 5 days ago

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

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

484 Ratings
Average Ratings
398
51
12
10
13

Made me smarter

By maggiem79 - Dec 19 2019
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I am much more critical when I hear or read stats in the news. Thank you so much! Please keep on!!

Excellent correction to public fictions.

By nicmart - Oct 31 2019
Read more
This is a refreshing antidote to the irrational hysteria of the media, including the BBC.

iTunes Ratings

484 Ratings
Average Ratings
398
51
12
10
13

Made me smarter

By maggiem79 - Dec 19 2019
Read more
I am much more critical when I hear or read stats in the news. Thank you so much! Please keep on!!

Excellent correction to public fictions.

By nicmart - Oct 31 2019
Read more
This is a refreshing antidote to the irrational hysteria of the media, including the BBC.
Cover image of More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats

Latest release on Sep 19, 2020

All 300 episodes from oldest to newest

The magical maths of pool testing

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Tim Harford speaks to Israeli researcher, Tomer Hertz, about how the mathematical magic of pool testing could help countries to ramp up their Covid-19 testing capacity.

Sep 19 2020

8mins

Play

Covid testing capacity, refugee numbers, and mascara

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Amid reports of problems with coronavirus testing across the UK, we interrogate the numbers on laboratory capacity. Does the government’s Operation Moonshot plan for mass testing make statistical sense? Has the UK been taking more refugees from outside the European Union than any EU country? We explore the connection between socio-economic status and Covid deaths. And we do the maths on a mascara brand’s bold claim about emboldening your eyelashes.

Sep 16 2020

28mins

Play

Covid cases rising, a guide to life’s risks, and racing jelly-fish

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A jump in the number of UK Covid-19 cases reported by the government has led to fears coronavirus is now spreading quickly again. What do the numbers tell us about how worried we should be? Plus a guide to balancing life’s risks in the time of coronavirus, the government’s targets on test and trace, and a suspicious statistic about the speed of jelly-fish.

Sep 09 2020

28mins

Play

Schools and coronavirus, test and trace, maths and reality

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As children return to school in England and Wales, we hear about what we know and what we don’t when it comes to Covid-19 risks in school settings. What do the numbers tell us about how well test and trace is working? Will reopening universities really kill 50,000 people? Are the UK’s figures on economic growth as bad as they look? And is maths real? When someone goes viral asking maths questions on social media, More or Less finds answers.

Sep 02 2020

27mins

Play

Covid plasma therapy

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Donald Trump says allowing the emergency use of blood plasma therapy for coronavirus patients will save “countless lives” and is “proven to reduce mortality by 35%”. We look at the evidence. Amid talk of coronavirus being back on the rise in the UK, what does the data show? Could screening for breast cancer from the age of 40 save lives? And can it really be true than one in five women in 18th century London made a living selling sex?

Aug 26 2020

27mins

Play

A-level algorithms, poker and buses

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We unpick the A-level algoshambles, discover why 1.3 million Covid tests disappeared from the government's statistics last week, and for reasons that may become clear, we examine the chance of being hit by a bus. Plus, what does poker teach us about the role of randomness in our lives?

Aug 19 2020

28mins

Play

Belarus’ contested election

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Autocratic leader Alexander Lukashenko claims to have won a landslide in the country’s presidential elections. But how can we know what really happened? Tim Harford delves into the numbers behind the widely-questioned election result, with Dr Brian Klaas and political analyst Artyom Shraibman.

Aug 15 2020

9mins

Play

Hawaiian Pizza, obesity and a second wave?

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Covid-19 cases are rising in the UK - is it a sign of a second wave of the virus? We’re picking apart the data and asking how concerned we should be both now and as autumn approaches. Scotland is undercounting Covid deaths, England is overcounting them: we’ll ask why and whether the problems will be fixed.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver claims over a quarter of all the fruit and veg kids eat is in the form of pizza, can this be true? Plus, as some people are blaming obesity for the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, we’ll find out how big a difference it really makes.

Aug 12 2020

27mins

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Melting Antarctic ice

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One More or Less listener has heard that if all the ice in Antarctica melted, global sea levels would rise by 70 metres. But it would take 361 billion tonnes of ice to raise the world's sea levels by just 1 millimetre.

So how much ice is in Antarctica? And in the coming years, what impact might temperature changes have on whether it remains frozen?

(Gentoo penguins on top of an iceberg at King George Island, Antarctica January 2020. Credit: Alessandro Dahan/ Getty Images)

Aug 08 2020

8mins

Play

Covid in Africa

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Do we have enough data to know what’s happening on the continent? We talk to Dr Justin Maeda from the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Ghanaian public health researcher Nana Kofi Quakyi about tracking Africa’s outbreak. Producer: Jo Casserly Picture: Volunteers wait to feed local people during the weekly feeding scheme at the Heritage Baptist Church in Melville on the 118 day of lockdown due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2020. Credit: EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

Aug 01 2020

10mins

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