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Faculty of Mathematics


14 November 2017, 5.30pm to 8.00pm

Venue: Peterhouse Lecture Theatre, Cambridge

How do ‘experts’ feel about communicating uncertainty around facts and figures? A distinguished panel of producers, users and communicators of official statistics discuss how uncertainty is, could, and should be communicated.​

We can never be certain about facts and figures and yet there seems to be an almost universal push for certainty in society. It is often said that politicians, media and the wider public are uncomfortable with ambiguity and demand simple solutions to precisely defined problems.

There are concerns that trying to communicate uncertainty will undermine people’s trust, and make it more difficult to reach decisions. But could the opposite be true? Could a greater effort to communicate uncertainty improve the quality of policy making and public discourse?


Chaired and hosted by Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, guest speakers include: Amanda Farnsworth, Head of Visual and Data Journalism, BBC News; Emily Miles, Group Director, Strategy in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; and Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

More information and how to book:

This event is organised by the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge, in partnership with the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication. For more information and to register to attend, please see the event page on the CSaP website.

Booking information