How to make the world add up with Robin Ince, How to re-enter normality, and graphs of life and death

21st June, 2021

In Conversation with Robin Ince – I’ll be talking with the amazing comedian, book gourmand and evangelist for science and reason online at the How To Academy on Monday 5th July – do come along!

If you’ve devoured the amazing story of how Florence Nightingale launched a public health revolution with a pie chart (it’s in How To Make The World Add Up / The Data Detective) then you might well enjoy Hannah Fry’s bravura essay in The New Yorker on how data visualisation saves – or costs – lives.

I was so pleased to hear the brilliant economist Betsey Stevenson (a senior economic official in various roles in the Obama administration) recommend The Undercover Economist Strikes Back on the Ezra Klein show. She said, “I just recommend that book to everyone because he explains the macro economy in a way that is just a joyous romp through macroeconomics. So if you ever felt like you needed to learn some more macro and wanted to have a blast to doing it, Tim Harford is your guy.” Well, it’s hard not to blush with a recommendation like that but it was also what I was trying to do with the book. Hurrah!

Two new questions have gone live on the “Data Detective challenge” at the Good Judgement project – do have a go at forecasting if you dare. These questions are about the Delta variant…

Slate’s How To podcast invited me to contribute as an ‘expert’ to a discussion about how to overcome post-pandemic anxiety. The real expert, Debra Kaysen, taught me a lot and I found the whole conversation so interesting, moving and thought-provoking.

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