Risk and Uncertainty. Communication. David Spiegelhalter. Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, CB3 0WB Cambridge,. United Kingdom. The latest Tweets from David Spiegelhalter (@d_spiegel). Statistician Chair, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication. Own opinions. Cambridge . Communicating risk and. t i t th l f uncertainty: the role of metaphor and analogy. David Spiegelhalter winton professor for the public understanding of risk, p p g.

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In addition, the concepts of absolute or relative risks must be carefully deployed, depending on the situation, Spiegelhalter says.

Online tools provide cheap, easy opportunities to offer commentary on risk. He suggests that young scientists first watch what senior, high-profile scientists do. One way to do this is to raise issues with other researchers through online networks like ResearchGate.

Researchers who raised the alarm about the risks of exposure to asbestos in the s faced backlash from asbestos manufacturers, for example.

Early-career scientists rarely sit on high-profile committees, but they may, nonetheless, uncover important information about threats to security or wellbeing. While researchers may play their part by communicating their own results, David Spiegelhalterthe Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in the statistical laboratory at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, says scientists can also police what others say about risk. Absolute risk expresses the likelihood of something happening as a percentage or ratio, while the relative risk compares risk levels in different groups.

Me in action at the Port Eliot Festival where I won the Loop championship – this was done using a mixture of mathematical insight, a little skill arising from rlsk mis-spent youth, and a huge dose of luck. In L’Aquila, the absolute risk of a violent earthquake was low, but it was higher than usual, and the potential damage was high, so using an absolute figure could appear to minimize the risk.

While scientists and risk professionals most often take a rational approach to deciding when a risk is big enough to speak up, they need to understand that the public or scientists outside their field of expertise may perceive and rank risks differently. In that case, referring to absolute risk could be helpful to provide communicatinb. Understanding Uncertainty This is an educational resource featuring the use of probability and statistics in everyday life, and makes extensive use of animations to help ‘tell the story’ of the data.


David Spiegelhalter’s Personal Home Page

You have to know what you’re talking about. Using either of these can make risks look more or less important, depending on the context, Spiegelhalter says. In the United Kingdom, all women aged 50 to 70 are invited spiegelhaltre breast screening every 3 years; the leaflet helps them decide whether to take the test. While getting training in statistics or communication zpiegelhalter your university or scientific society can provide you with tools to better communicate risk, your best safety net is probably your expertise.

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Talking to the public about risk | Science | AAAS

They were convicted, the judge saidnot because they had failed to predict the earthquake, but because they had failed to analyze and explain the risks adequately and had given false reassurances to the townsfolk.

This is the home page for the book, and this is the resource site for teachers. To develop healthy coping skills during grad school, first I had to hit rock bottom By Elizabeth A. In and previous years I taught Part 1B Statistics – this is my teaching page.

Getting embroiled in a legal case could damage a budding career. By Elisabeth Pain Mar. Rosenberg advises that early-career scientists seek feedback and mentoring from other scientists.

As a successful example of risk communication, Spiegelhalter mentions leaflets published by the U. Communicatingg ‘Uncertainty’ should find it.

Scientists sometimes face personal attacks when they speak out about risk, Rosenberg admits, especially if their findings threaten economic interests. The lectures were nicely edited to try and make them more coherent, and can be viewed here.

By Francis Aguisanda Nov. Measures taken then to curb overfishing helped some of the fish stocks recover, Rosenberg says. Above all, your research and knowledge should be rock-solid, Spiegelhalter says: We fall into the broad category of ‘public understanding of science’, while our work with schools can be considered as ‘maths outreach’. I am the reigning first and only World Champion in Loop, the version of pool invented by Alex Bellos that is played on an elliptical table with a single pocket in the baize – more like a putting green than a pool table.


For example, how a risk is spread over time and space will greatly change how people perceive it, writes Peter Sandman, a U.

Talking to the public about risk

Provided their public statements are based on sound research methods and findings, scientists generally have no spiegelhalterr to worry about legal backlash. Alex describes the principles in detail on the official Loop page.

This Centre, generously funded by the David and Claudia Harding Foundationis based in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics in Cambridge, and is dedicated to improving the way that quantitative evidence is used in society.

UCS has also published an online guide to help researchers deal with harassment. One of the most important aspects of communicating risk is to appreciate the extent and seriousness of the risk and to strike the right balance between informing and alarming. The issue divides the medical community, Spiegelhalter says, but the publication has been well received because it spells out risks and benefits clearly and uses real-life figures that the public can easily grasp.

However we try to take a view of the subject that extends beyond the application of probability and statistics, acknowledging that there are deeper uncertainties that cannot be easily put into a formal framework, and that social and psychological issues necessarily play a vital role. He insists, however, that scientists should be careful not to overstep the fine line between helping people make decisions and telling them what to do.