Tim Harford The Undercover Economist


I try to keep track of my gigs below. To invite me to give a speech, please contact my agents.


I’m speaking at the London School of Economics…

On 1 October at 7pm. Do please come along if you can. If you can’t, here’s a list of other places where I’m speaking.

15th of August, 2013SpeechesComments off

Here is a talk I gave on data visualisation

I gave this talk at the University of Cambridge on 22 May, as part of the International Year of Statistics, and I am introduced by the wonderful Professor David Spiegelhalter.

Enjoy! http://view6.workcast.net/?pak=8615439470431294


Speaking in Edinburgh, Bristol, Kilkenny, Sheffield, Henley, Cheltenham, etc.

A bit more detail and links here.

27th of June, 2013SpeechesComments off

Royal Society Annual Public Lecture

I am delighted to announce that I will be giving the Royal Economic Society’s annual public lecture this year, in Sheffield on 26th November and London on 28th November. Come along! (Tickets will be released in September.)


Next series of Pop Up Ideas to be recorded on June 10th

Pop Up Economics is now Pop Up Ideas, and the next series will be inspired by ideas from anthropology and political science. We’re recording the entire series in front of a live audience – please come along. You can apply for free tickets here.

Speakers will include anthropologist / capital markets editor of the Financial Times, Gillian Tett; counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen; and a man who needs no introduction, Malcolm Gladwell. And yours truly, of course.

26th of May, 2013RadioSpeechesComments off

How to nurture innovations that matter – Tim Harford live at Wired 2012

Here’s my talk at Wired late last year. It was a really fun event. Enjoy!

(Note, incidentally, that Matt Parker has now moved from cycling to rugby.)


5th of January, 2013HighlightsSpeechesComments off

Come and see live economics storytelling at St Pancras Station…

This is the second recording session for my brand new series, “Pop Up Economics”. Come along – it’s free and it will be lots of fun.

12.45pm, St Pancras Station, 14 January.


Details, and for free tickets, here.

EDIT: Sorry – oversubscribed five times over within a day. Gosh. Thanks to all who applied and I hope we get a chance to do some more. Listen out on Radio 4, 8.45pm, Wednesday from 16 January!

2nd of January, 2013MarginaliaRadioSpeechesComments off

Come and see me record a brand new radio show about economics!

I’m delighted to announce that the BBC will be broadcasting a brand new show called “Pop Up Economics” – just me telling short stories about important people and ideas in economics. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll optimise. Come along!

The first recording is in central London, near Piccadilly Circus.

Date: Tuesday 4th December.

Time: Drinks at 18.30. Recording starts 19.15 sharp.


Please email xxx to get your e-ticket and the venue details. First come, first served!



EDIT: All gone – sorry. There’ll be another event in January. Watch this space. – TH

29th of November, 2012MarginaliaRadioSpeechesComments off

Tim Harford at the Sydney Opera House: “Make more Misstakes”

“In a complex and fast-moving world, if we want to move ahead in leaps and bounds, rather than in small steps, we need to rethink the conditions for making progress in science, business and society in a fundamental way. We need to realise there is no ‘right way’, lose our fear of failure, embrace opportunity and take risks.

We need to stop looking for leaders who can provide us with all the answers, and encourage the search for many solutions – for that is where we will find the ‘one in a hundred’ that delivers real results. We need to understand that to adapt to the challenges of the future, we must make mistakes, lots of them.”

Make more misstakes” is here – one hour. Enjoy!


Three PowerPoint tips you really need to know

Microsoft bought PowerPoint 25 years ago. Happy anniversary.

PowerPoint has a curious status these days – it’s ubiquitous and yet widely loathed. Both the ubiquity and the loathing are overdone.

Here are three tips I’ve found very useful as a speaker.

1) There are three things you can do with PowerPoint (or most of its rivals). You can put visual aids on a screen; you can create bullet-point speaker’s notes; and you can produce handouts for people to take home. All of these uses are perfectly legitimate, but you can’t do them all at once. Your speaker’s notes should be on small cards in your hand; your handouts can have contact details, sources, a bibliography, or dense data; your visuals should be simple and look awesome. If you feel you need to do all three, fine: you will need to create three completely different presentations.

2) If you don’t have anything useful to display for a particular section of your talk, display nothing. During slideshow mode, press B to show a black slide, or W for a white one. Or if you don’t have direct access to the computer while presenting, insert blank slides as necessary. There’s nothing wrong with giving a talk during which you only show one or two slides – but don’t leave them up as wallpaper.

3) You don’t have to use any visual aids at all. You might be surprised at how much people focus on you when you stop competing with yourself for attention.

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