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More or Less: Behind the Stats

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4

Popular episodes

A TikTok tale

Nov 21 • 08:58
Nowadays if you are an academic and who needs some participants for a study you go online, but over the summer academic studies were inundated with participants who all happened to be teenage girls ... we explore how one TikTok can tip the balance of data gathering.

Presenter: Tim Harford
Producer: Chris Flynn

(Image: TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone screen/Getty/N...

The carbon cost of breakfast at COP26

Nov 14 • 08:57
A French minister told people to eat fewer croissants at this year’s COP26 summit, after the menu said the carbon cost of the pastry was higher than that of a bacon roll, even if it was made without butter. Tim Harford investigates whether this claim could be true, and how the effect of food on climate change can be measured.


(Image: Continental breakfast with coffee and c...

Same data, opposite results. Can we trust research?

Nov 7 • 08:58
When Professor Martin Schweinsberg found that he was consistently reaching different conclusions to his peers, even with the same data, he wondered if he was incompetent. So he set up an experiment.
What he found out emphasises the importance of the analyst, but calls into question the level of trust we can put into research.

Features an excerpt from TED Talks

(Image: Getty/...

The art of counting

Oct 31 • 08:58
Who is counting, why are they counting, and what are they are counting?
These three questions are important to ask when trying to understand numbers, according to Deborah Stone, author of Counting, How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters.
In this episode, she explains how different ways of totting up can have real-world consequences.

(Image: Betta Blue Red Veiltail/Getty ...

The numbers behind Squid Game

Oct 24 • 08:58

The prize-winning economics of migration and the minimum wage

Oct 17 • 08:58
Do immigrants drive down wages, do minimum wage increases reduce job opportunities, and do people who did well in school earn more money?
These are questions that the winners of the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics looked to the world around them for answers to.
David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens developed ways of interpreting what they saw that changed the w...

Bonus episode: the first ever More or Less

Oct 7 • 36:27
A chat with More or Less's founding producer and presenter plus the first episode in full.

Tim talks to Michael Blastland and Sir Andrew Dilnot about how More or Less came into being (after several rejections), whether politicians and journalists are more numerate now, and where the name come from.

Then, the very first episode of More or Less, originally broadcast on Radio...

Twenty years of More or Less

Oct 6 • 27:50
A look back at our origins, plus the usual mix of numerical nous and statistical savvy.

It’s two decades since More or Less first beamed arithmetic into the unsuspecting ears of Radio 4 listeners. We revisit the show’s genesis with the original presenter and producer.

Why are there two different figures about our vaccination rate doing the rounds and how does the UK now comp...

The Gender Pay Gap

Oct 3 • 08:58

Is it easy being green?

Sep 29 • 29:03
Is our electricity extra expensive and our insulation inadequate? And a tale of tumbling trees.

Internet infographics suggest we’re paying way more for our energy than countries in the EU. Are they being interpreted correctly? And what part, if any, has Brexit had to play?

Insulation Britain activists have been gluing themselves to motorway slip-roads to raise awareness abou...

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