risk-communication

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.

2845 ways to spin the Risk

In the animation below we show how risks can be ‘spun’ to look bigger or smaller, how medical treatments can be made to seem useless or to be wonder cures, and how lifestyle changes might look worthwhile or not worth bothering with. All by changing the words used, the way the numbers are expressed, and the particular graphics chosen.

Postscript: What happened next

After a couple of days of fairly intensive discussion the news inevitably moved on to other topics, but a fairly clear message had been sent to NICE that the media will rapidly pick up on any divergence from the advice of the Department of Health.

Clone of Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer - the issues

What evidence is being used?

The report itself is a review of all the available evidence on the influences of various foods and activities on the development of cancer, as judged by a panel of internationally distinguished scientists.

Stating the Risk Test Page

Placeholder for article with animation.

Version 8

Release notes:

  • Fixed a bug in v7 which caused the texts to differ from the icons due to rounding.
  • Fixed configuration bug
  • Uses standard (now revised) uu framing.
  • Logo links back to uu home
  • Title links back to uu article
  • Personalise tab revised to use popup editors.

What is your risk?

Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer - the issues

What evidence is being used?

The report itself is a review of all the available evidence on the influences of certain foods and activities on cancer, as judged by a panel of internationally distinguished scientists.

Bacon Sandwiches and Cancer

Lotto IconOn 31st October 2007 the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF, a charity/umbrella organisation “supporting research into the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention of cancer”) issued a press release to advertise their comprehensive report on the influences of nutrition and physical activity on cancer, “Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective”.

Risk in the media

Why risk in the media?

headlines from newspaperNo-one can be an expert in every subject. We may have left formal science teaching behind at school, or have continued through university. We may keep up to date by reading scientific periodicals and websites - or just wish we had the time to do so! But as news breaks of yet another scientific discovery, we all start with what the media have made of the story, and how they present it to us.

Subscribe to RSS - risk-communication