Biography

One line biography

Tim Harford, “the Undercover Economist”, is a Financial Times columnist, BBC broadcaster, and the author of nine books (most recently “How To Make The World Add Up” / “The Data Detective”) and the podcast “Cautionary Tales”.

Brief biography

Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of “How To Make the World Add Up” / “The Data Detective”, “Messy”, and the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”. Tim is a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of BBC Radio’s “More or Less”, “How To Vaccinate The World”, and “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy”, as well as the podcast “Cautionary Tales”. Tim has spoken at TED, PopTech and the Sydney Opera House. He is an associate member of Nuffield College, Oxford and an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. Tim was made an OBE for services to improving economic understanding in the New Year honours of 2019.

Awards

        • OBE “For services to Improving Economic Understanding” 2019
        • Journalist of the Year, Wincott Awards 2020
        • Best Radio Contributor, Voice of the Listener and Viewer 2020
        • Specialist journalist of the year (highly commended) British Press Awards 2020
        • Science and Data Commentator of the Year 2018
        • Winner of the Bastiat Prize for economic journalism 2016
        • Winner of the Royal Statistical Society journalistic excellence award 2015
        • Winner of the Society of Professional Economists writing prize (Rybczynski prize) 2014-15
        • Economics Commentator of the Year 2014
        • Winner of the Bastiat Prize for economic journalism 2006
        • In 2018 “Fifty Things” was nominated for a Webby award while “More or Less” won “best radio news and current affairs programme” from the Voice of the Viewer and Listener.
        • “More or Less” has repeatedly been recognised for journalistic excellence by the Royal Statistical Society, winning in 2010, 2013, 2019, and 2021 with special commendations in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018. Tim also presented a World Service program that won the AIB Radio Journalism award 2015.

Longer biography

Tim Harford is a data detective and geek storyteller. He is an undercover economist, BBC presenter and a senior columnist at the Financial Times.

Tim’s books include The Undercover Economist, which has sold nearly 2 million copies, and the new Sunday Times number one business bestseller How To Make The World Add Up – the bestselling UK business book of 2021, published as The Data Detective in the US.

He is also the author of  The Logic of LifeDear Undercover Economist, Adapt, The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, Messy, Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy, and The Next Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy.

His BBC radio series include More or Less, which brought statistical journalism to prime-time radio, Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy, and How To Vaccinate The World, in which Harford interviewed experts such as Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates on the most important story of the age.

Tim also writes and hosts the chart-busting Cautionary Tales podcast, which with the help of leading actors such as Helena Bonham Carter and Jeffrey Wright, draws essential lessons from spellbinding stories of disaster.

Tim has appeared on popular TV and radio shows including The Colbert Report, Today, PM, Newsnight, Marketplace and Planet Money. His writing has been published in The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Wired, The Sunday Times and The Guardian.

Tim’s writing has won several prestigious awards, including Journalist of the Year (2021) from the Wincott Foundation, the Bastiat Prize for economic journalism (2006 and 2016), Science and Data Commentator of the Year (2018), Economics Commentator of the Year (2014), Society for Business Economists writing prize (2014), and the Royal Statistical Society prize for journalism (2015). He was awarded an OBE “for services to improving economic understanding” in the 2019 New Year honours.

Tim is a member of Nuffield College, Oxford and the only journalist to be an honorary fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He has worked at Shell and the World Bank. Tim has given numerous invited lectures, including at Google, PopTech, the Sydney Opera House, and three times at TED. His TED talks alone have been viewed more than 11 million times.

 

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