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Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication


Chairman: Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter

David SpiegelhalterDavid Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk and Fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge University. He works to improve the way in which risk and statistical evidence are taught and discussed in society: he gives many presentations to schools and others, advises organisations on risk communication, and is a regular commentator on risk issues. He presented the BBC4 documentaries Tails you Win: the Science of Chance and the award-winning Climate Change by Numbers. He was elected FRS in 2005, awarded an OBE in 2006, and was knighted in 2014 for services to medical statistics. In 2011 he came 7th in an episode of Winter Wipeout.


Executive Director: Dr Alexandra Freeman

Alex FreemanDuring a 16 year career at the BBC, Alex Freeman worked on series such as Walking with Beasts, Life in the Undergrowth, Bang Goes the Theory, Climate Change by Numbers and, most recently, was the series producer of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor. Her work has won a number of awards, from a BAFTA to a AAAS Kavli gold award for science journalism. In addition to developing and making television series, Alex has worked with associated content across a whole range of other media – designing websites, games, formal learning resources and social media content – to bring science to the widest possible audience.


Psychologist: Dr William J. Skylark

William J. SkylarkWill is a senior lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, having previously worked at the universities of Essex, Warwick, and Leicester. His research concerns the processes by which people form judgments and make choices. This involves identifying the factors that influence people’s beliefs and decisions, and developing theoretical models that explain these effects in terms of basic mental operations. He uses a wide-variety of techniques – including eye-tracking, lab studies, and large-scale surveys – to try to understand how people form and communicate beliefs about the world, and how these beliefs influence their behaviour.


Psychologist: Dr George Farmer

George FarmerGeorge Farmer obtained a PhD in psychology from the University of Manchester in 2015, and now conducts research into human judgement and decision-making. He has published work on how people understand chance, and how context affects decision-making. He is also interested in user interface design and has previously studied at University College London and the University of Sussex.


Technical Lead: Mike Pearson

Mike PearsonMike has extensive experience of software design and development. Since 1998 he has supported a number projects within the mathematics and education faculties with web, graphics, animations and data visualisations.

Management Board

The day-to-day running of the Centre is overseen by a management board that meets monthly. The Chairman of the Board is Professor David Spiegelhalter, and the Executive Director, Alexandra Freeman, attends each Board meeting.

The other members of the board are:

Dr William Skylark (see above)

Professor Theresa Marteau

Professor Theresa Marteau Theresa Marteau is Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, and Fellow and Director of Studies in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge. Her research interests include: development and evaluation of interventions to change behaviour (principally diet, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol consumption) to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, with a particular focus on targeting non conscious processes; risk perception and communication, particular of biomarker-derived risks, and their weak links with behaviour change; acceptability to publics and policy-makers of population-level intervention to change behavior.


Mr 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.