Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the world for centuries, yet we are all familiar with the way numbers can be used to support sensationalized claims, whether political or scientific.
The Covid crisis has shown that data literacy—the ability to understand and critique statistics—is more than ever a vital skill for an informed citizenry. This means a new approach to statistics education is necessary, in which real problems provide motivation for ideas, and technicalities are delayed as long as possible.
In his new book, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Churchill College Fellow, uses this approach to construct a first course in statistics driven by questions such as: could Harold Shipman have been caught earlier, should he take a statin, who was the luckiest passenger on the Titanic, and why do old men have big ears? Thus is the true power of statistical science revealed.
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