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More or Less: Behind the Stats

BBC Radio 4

800
Followers
3.2K
Plays
More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats

BBC Radio 4

800
Followers
3.2K
Plays
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About Us

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

Latest Episodes

Covid curve queried, false positives, and the Queen’s head

A scary government graph this week showed what would happen if coronavirus cases doubled every seven days. But is that what’s happening? There’s much confusion about how many Covid test results are false positives - we explain all. Plus, do coffee and pregnancy mix? And the Queen, Mao, and Gandhi go head to head: who is on the most stamps and coins?

29 min4 d ago
Comments
Covid curve queried, false positives, and the Queen’s head

The magical maths of pool testing

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.

8 min1 w ago
Comments
The magical maths of pool testing

Covid testing capacity, refugee numbers, and mascara

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.

28 min1 w ago
Comments
Covid testing capacity, refugee numbers, and mascara

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

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.

28 min2 w ago
Comments
Covid cases rising, a guide to life’s risks, and racing jelly-fish

Schools and coronavirus, test and trace, maths and reality

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.

27 min3 w ago
Comments
Schools and coronavirus, test and trace, maths and reality

Covid plasma therapy

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?

27 minAUG 26
Comments
Covid plasma therapy

A-level algorithms, poker and buses

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?

28 minAUG 19
Comments
A-level algorithms, poker and buses

Belarus’ contested election

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.

9 minAUG 16
Comments
Belarus’ contested election

Hawaiian Pizza, obesity and a second wave?

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.

27 minAUG 12
Comments
Hawaiian Pizza, obesity and a second wave?

Melting Antarctic ice

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)

8 minAUG 9
Comments
Melting Antarctic ice

Latest Episodes

Covid curve queried, false positives, and the Queen’s head

A scary government graph this week showed what would happen if coronavirus cases doubled every seven days. But is that what’s happening? There’s much confusion about how many Covid test results are false positives - we explain all. Plus, do coffee and pregnancy mix? And the Queen, Mao, and Gandhi go head to head: who is on the most stamps and coins?

29 min4 d ago
Comments
Covid curve queried, false positives, and the Queen’s head

The magical maths of pool testing

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.

8 min1 w ago
Comments
The magical maths of pool testing

Covid testing capacity, refugee numbers, and mascara

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.

28 min1 w ago
Comments
Covid testing capacity, refugee numbers, and mascara

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

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.

28 min2 w ago
Comments
Covid cases rising, a guide to life’s risks, and racing jelly-fish

Schools and coronavirus, test and trace, maths and reality

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.

27 min3 w ago
Comments
Schools and coronavirus, test and trace, maths and reality

Covid plasma therapy

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?

27 minAUG 26
Comments
Covid plasma therapy

A-level algorithms, poker and buses

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?

28 minAUG 19
Comments
A-level algorithms, poker and buses

Belarus’ contested election

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.

9 minAUG 16
Comments
Belarus’ contested election

Hawaiian Pizza, obesity and a second wave?

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.

27 minAUG 12
Comments
Hawaiian Pizza, obesity and a second wave?

Melting Antarctic ice

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)

8 minAUG 9
Comments
Melting Antarctic ice
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