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Professor John Aston

Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication


Professor John Aston


John Aston is the Harding Professor of Statistics in Public Life and is based in the Statistical Laboratory, Department of Pure Maths and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Cambridge. From 2017-2020 he was on secondment as the Chief Scientific Adviser and Director General for Science, Technology, Analysis, Research and Strategy at the Home Office, UK Government. He is an applied statistician who works in areas including medical imaging, linguistics and official statistics, and was a founding director of the Alan Turing Institute.

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 NHS Decision Support Tools released!

22 November 2023

The Winton Centre have produced a suite of decision support tools for NHS England to help patients take part in share decision making.

Harding Prizes for useful and trustworthy communication in 2022 awarded!

20 April 2023

After casting the net wide across the world, the judges awarded the 2022 Harding Prize for Trustworthy Communication to an interactive calculator from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and a report from the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology.

The search for the best evidence communication of 2022 begins!

25 November 2022

The Harding Prizes for communication in 2022 are now open for nominations at

View all news