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Michael Blastland

Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

People

Michael Blastland

Michael Blastland

Michael Blastland is a freelance writer and broadcaster. Programmes he has devised and presented or produced include More or Less (about numbers in the news, with Andrew Dilnot); The Human Zoo (about behavioural science); The History of Britain in Numbers (also with Andrew), and Whodunnit (about the causes of social change). He is also an occasional presenter of Analysison Radio 4 and The inquiry. His writing includes The Tiger That Isn’t (with Andrew Dilnot, about numbers in public debate); The Norm Chronicles (with David Spiegelhalter, about risk), and Joe (about his son’s autism). He talks and presents widely to public and private sector, and trains senior BBC and other journalists to interpret data. He is currently working on a book so foolhardy it might never see daylight, aiming at a popular treatment of causality and evidence. 

Can You Handle the Evidence?

Test your skill at navigating evidence-by-numbers with one of our quick quizzes.

Journalists & Press Officers
Do you know your absolute from your relative risks? Your ORs from your HRs? Test yourself here.
Medical Professionals
You know the difference between sensitivity and specificity, but what about lead-time and overdiagnosis bias? Examine yourself here.
Legal Professionals
Given a positive DNA match, what’s the likelihood of innocence? Check your grasp of forensic evidence & probability here.

Latest news

New blog: It's the ignorance, stupid

22 April 2020

On February 20th, a group of Philip Tetlock’s superforecasters said the probability that one month later the WHO would report more than 200,000 cases of Coronavirus was 3%. They couldn't have been more wrong. Read Michael Blastland's latest blog on the topic of uncertainty.

Putting information into a 'fact box' format helps people understand and remember it better than plain text

25 March 2020

The Winton Centre and our sister centre in Berlin, the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, have worked together to put to the test a format for communicating the pros and …

How different countries are reacting to the COVID-19 risk and their governments’ responses

24 March 2020

At the end of last week we collected data from 700 people in each of the UK and US on how they were responding to the risk of the coronavirus, …

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