Risk and Uncertainty. Communication. David Spiegelhalter. Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge, CB3 0WB Cambridge,. United Kingdom. The latest Tweets from David Spiegelhalter (@d_spiegel). Statistician Chair, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication. Own opinions. Cambridge . Communicating risk and. t i t th l f uncertainty: the role of metaphor and analogy. David Spiegelhalter winton professor for the public understanding of risk, p p g.

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So what are the professional responsibilities of scientists when it comes to communicating risk?

Online tools provide cheap, easy opportunities to offer commentary on risk. In that case, referring to absolute risk could be helpful to provide perspective. Rosenberg advises that early-career scientists seek feedback and mentoring from other scientists.

Talking to the public about risk

Me in action at the Port Eliot Festival where I won the Loop championship – this was done using a mixture of mathematical insight, a savid skill arising from a mis-spent youth, and a huge dose of luck. The issue divides the medical community, Spiegelhalter says, but the publication has been well received because spiwgelhalter spells out risks and benefits clearly and uses real-life figures that the public can easily grasp.

When he worked as a lead regulator in the Northeast, his studies of New England and mid-Atlantic fisheries inspired him to raise an alarm about overexploitation of the resource. They were convicted, the judge saidnot because they had failed to predict the earthquake, but because they had failed to cmomunicating and explain the risks adequately and had given false reassurances to the townsfolk.

Grad school depression almost took me to the end of the road—but I found a new start By Francis Aguisanda Nov. Measures taken then to curb overfishing helped some of the fish stocks recover, Rosenberg says.

One of the most important aspects of communicating risk is to appreciate the extent and seriousness of the risk and to strike the right balance between informing and alarming. The seven commission members received a 6-year prison sentence that sparked protests from scientists around the world, concerned that the verdict would push researchers to keep silent about risks in the future. In addition, the concepts of absolute or relative risks must be carefully deployed, depending on the situation, Spiegelhalter says.


David Spiegelhalter’s Personal Home Page

Above all, your research and knowledge should be rock-solid, Spiegelhalter says: And they are especially vulnerable: One way to do this is to raise issues with other researchers through online networks like ResearchGate.

To develop healthy coping skills during grad school, first I had to hit rock bottom By Elizabeth A. You have to know what you’re talking about. In the United Kingdom, all women aged 50 to 70 are invited for breast screening every 3 years; the leaflet helps them decide whether to take the test. Understanding Uncertainty This is an educational resource featuring the use of probability and statistics in everyday life, and makes extensive use of animations to help ‘tell the story’ of the data.

He insists, however, that scientists should be careful not to overstep the fine line between helping people make decisions and telling them what to do. Spiegelhalter uses his personal blog and Twitter account. Our work focuses on the appropriate use of quantitative methods in dealing with risk and uncertainty in the lives of individuals and society. He suggests that young scientists first watch what senior, high-profile scientists do.

Using either of these can make risks look more or less important, depending on the context, Spiegelhalter says.

We are involved in a number of different areas: By Francis Aguisanda Nov. While getting training in statistics or communication from your university or scientific society can provide you with tools to better communicate risk, your best safety net is probably your expertise.

Talking to the public about risk | Science | AAAS

More than 3 years later, four scientists, two engineers, and a government official, all members of Italy’s National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks at the time of the earthquake, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. This Centre, generously funded by the David and Claudia Harding Foundationis sppiegelhalter in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics in Cambridge, and is dedicated to improving the communicatiny that quantitative evidence is used in society.

Absolute risk expresses the likelihood of something happening as a percentage or ratio, while the relative risk compares risk levels in different groups.

Getting commuunicating in a legal case could damage a budding career. In L’Aquila, the absolute risk of a violent earthquake was low, but it was higher than usual, and the potential damage was high, so using an absolute figure could appear to minimize the risk.


At UCS, Rosenberg advocates a somewhat more assertive posture. I work with a small team comprising Mike Pearson web and animationand Owen Smith web. Someone is spear-phishing, pretending to be me. While researchers may play their part by communicating their own results, David Spiegelhalterthe Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in commujicating statistical laboratory at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, says scientists can also police what others say about risk.

Science 21 December VolIssue National Health Service about breast cancer screeningwhich he helped write and design. However we try to take a view of the subject that extends beyond the application of probability and statistics, acknowledging that there are deeper uncertainties that cannot communicating easily put into a formal framework, and that social and psychological issues necessarily play a vital role. For example, how a risk is spread over time and space will greatly change how people perceive it, writes Peter Sandman, a U.

The lectures were nicely edited to try and make them more coherent, and can be viewed here. Alex describes the principles in detail on the official Loop page. Risk assessment tells us the two have the same expected annual mortality: Early-career scientists rarely sit on high-profile committees, but they may, nonetheless, uncover important information about threats to security or wellbeing.

As a successful example of risk communication, Spiegelhalter mentions leaflets published by the U. Researchers who raised the alarm about the risks of exposure to asbestos in the s faced backlash from asbestos manufacturers, for example. Maynard produces short YouTube videos where he discusses the risks of electronic cigarettes or HPV vaccines, among other topics. Scientists sometimes face personal attacks when commujicating speak out about risk, Rosenberg admits, especially if their findings threaten economic interests.

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