skip to primary navigation skip to content


Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication


12 May

Journalism’s standards of statistical reporting have been notoriously low. But they are improving. And it seems they might now have become better at it than the scientists who produce the numbers…

Read full article on medium

22 Mar

Guest blogger Michael Blastland points out the misleading reporting of statistics in a recent article in the Guardian and discovers that this time it was not so much the journalists to blame, but the academics that wrote the paper.

Read full article on medium

17 Mar

A paper published today in Occupational & Environmental Medicine was accompanied by a press release titled “Exposure to certain insecticides linked to childhood behavioural difficulties”, and which made the bold claim that “children with the highest levels of metabolites in their urine were around three times as likely to display abnormal behaviour.” But these findings are quite plausibly due …

27 Feb

Last week I sent a tweet of a graphic in the Daily Mail. Since it provoked a number of retweets I thought a blog on the subject would be worthwhile!

21 Feb
Air pollution is news. The Daily Mail claims that Air pollution is ‘killing 40,000 a year in the UK’ Greenpeace says 40,000 lives were cut short by air pollution in the U.K., while the Guardian reports Air pollution crisis ‘plagues’ UK, finds UN human rights expert. But where doe
22 Jan

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) today launched its Go for Gold campaign, encouraging us not to burn our roast or fried vegetables and keep our oven chips at a nice golden colour. The idea is to reduce people’s intake of acrylamide, a chemical that is “created when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes and bread, are cooked for long …

19 Dec

David appeared on Sunday Politics on the 18th December discussing how the numbers of deaths attributed to air pollution are calculated.

It's available on iPlayer until January 17th. The item starts at around 25:25.

4 Dec

On December 1st a headline in the Daily Mail declared “Revealed, the truth about UK crime: New official figures give more weight to worst offences... and show they're up by almost a fifth”,  adding that “The hidden reality of rising violent and sexual crime was exposed yesterday by a new official method of ranking offences by their severity …