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Oct 14, 2021

Excess deaths, vaccine harms and lockdowns: how should experts communicate about these complex, politically explosive issues? Michael Blastland quizzes statistical duo David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters on what they’ve learnt while writing a weekly column for the Observer. They explore the importance of context and comparison, the trustworthiness of sharing uncertainty and the power of a good analogy.

The graphic discussed in the episode - which compares the potential harms and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine - can be seen here: 

David and Anthony’s columns are collected and expanded in their new book Covid By Numbers: 


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Risky Talk is produced by Ilan Goodman for the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge.