Slightly embarrassing video

As of the 23rd May 2022 this website is archived and will receive no further updates.

was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

Many of the animations were produced using Flash and will no longer work.

A video has gone on Youtube called Professor Risk as part of a series made for the Cambridge 800 years anniversary. To be honest it's a bit lightweight when it comes to risk, and all the subtle bits got cut. We filmed a whole lot more including my GP taking my blood, discussing statins and screening for prostate cancer. All on the cutting-room floor. Good point: Stephen Fry does the intro voiceover. Bad point: me in my jim-jams.



Well that was interesting overall, but I'm not convinced by your focus on the supposed danger of cycling. My understanding is that the health benefits of cycling are substantial and in fact wholly outweigh the small risk of a fatal accident. Surely one of the important aspects of any risk analysis is taking account of all the significant factors rather than picking one in isolation.

yes of course I agree. Lots got cut in the video editing, I'm afraid, including discussion of the additional benefits of cycling (and the additional harms of bacon sandwiches!)

David S

I thought the video was fantastic. I work in risk management and am just starting a blog myself called "riskovation" I am trying to help people understand more about risk management but also its key role in driving innovation. I am also a lecturer at the University of Melbourne and we recently developed a subject on Risk Management with the organisation I work for. I would like to see the rest of the video and would like to discuss how the micromort can be better understood as a measure of risk. I have referenced you and the video and the micromort on my blog site to spread your views. All the best. Scott

I often think about risk. Now more than ever because I just had a baby boy and since he is the most important think in my life I want to protect him at all costs. The problem is that I might end up overprotective and as a result mess up his life. My father was anything but overprotective and I'm perfectly fine and grateful for it :) Great video thank you!

I thought there was a competition between Cambridge academics as to how nude you could appear in the videos (see David Mackay in bath and dressing gown)

I greatly enjoyed your 'Worth the Risk?' lecture at Cheltenham Science Festival on 12th June. I met you after the lecture to discuss taking statins - see my blog: I'm also considering taking statins but wonder whether they are worth the risk! More on statins in my blog: