More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats

United Kingdom

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4


WS More or Less: Why January makes us want to scream  

Blue Monday and Oxfam’s comparison wealth of billionaires and the poor –the stories that come around every year.

WS More or Less: Christian Martyrs  

Were 90,000 Christians killed because of their faith in 2016?

WS More or Less: Should we really be drinking eight glasses of water a day?  

How much water should you be drinking? There’s some age-old advice that suggests you should be drinking eight ounces (230 ml) eight times a day. Some people even advise you should be drinking this on top of what you normally drink. There is lots of advice out there but how do you know when you’ve had enough or if you’re drinking too much. With help from Professor Stanley Goldfarb from the University of Pennsylvania, Wesley Stephenson finds out. (Image: Hand holding a glass of water. Credit: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire)

WS More or Less: Does Sweden Really Have a Six Hour Day?  

There have been reports that those radical Swedes have decided to reduce the working day to just six hours because, it has been claimed, productivity does not suffer. Before you all rush to the Swedish job pages this is not quite the case – but there have been trials in Sweden to test whether you can shorten people’s working hours without having an effect on output. Tim Harford talks to our Swedish correspondent Keith Moore about what the trials have found. He also speaks to professor John Pencavel, Emeritus Professor of Economics, at Stanford University, and finds that reducing working hours may not be as radical idea as it first appears. (Photo: A business man carries a black briefcase)

The Haber-Bosch Process  

Saving lives with thin air - by taking nitrogen from the air to make fertiliser

WS More or Less:  Life, death and data  

Improving data to target help to the poorest people

Christmas Quiz  

Tim Harford poses a tough statistical challenge

WS More or Less: Yellow cards for Christmas  

Are footballers trying to get suspended for Christmas?

Have more famous people died this year?  

Notable deaths, Rule Britannia and creating your own Christmas speech

WS More or Less:  How risky is the contraceptive pill?  

We look at the numbers behind the scary headlines about birth control.

How wrong were the Brexit forecasts?  

The economic doom that never was; childhood cancer figures and Ed Balls

WS More or Less:  How not to test public opinion  

The survey by the Indian PM that broke all the polling rules and started a mass protest

Are you related to Edward III - and Danny Dyer?  

What are the odds of being related to a medieval king? and how many cows for a fiver?

WS More or Less: Good news on renewables?  

Renewable capacity has surpassed that of coal–is this good news? Plus an asteroid update.

Pensioners aren't poor anymore  

High-rolling pensioners? predicting Norovirus, air pollution deaths and lost or found?

WS More or Less: Avoiding Asteroids  

A new NASA warning system means we’re getting better at spotting Earth-bound space rocks. But how safe are we?

Is dementia the number one killer?  

Is dementia on the rise? Plus immigration, incomplete contacts and chocolate muffins

WS More or Less: Liberia’s Rape Statistic Debunked  

Sexual violence was widespread in Liberia’s brutal and bloody year civil war. But were three quarters of women in the country raped? We tell the story behind the number and reveal how well-meaning efforts to expose what happened have fuelled myths and miss-leading statistics that continue to be propagated to this day, including by the UN. We speak to Amelia Hoover Green from Drexel University, Dara Cohen from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, researcher Phyllis Kimba and Aisha Dukule from the think tank Center For Liberia's Future in Monrovia. (Photo: Liberian women and children wait for rice rations in overcrowded Monrovia, June 2003. Credit: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

US election, stray cats and puzzles  

Who voted in the US elections? Plus are there nine million stray cats in the UK?

WS More or Less: Ice Cream versus aid  

Does the world really spend three times as much on ice cream than on humanitarian aid?

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