Nightingale

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.

Nightingale's 'Coxcombs'

Nightingale's coxcombsThrough her work as a nurse in the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in establishing the importance of sanitation in hospitals. She meticulously gathered data on relating death tolls in hospitals to cleanliness, and, because of her novel methods of communicating this data, she was also a pioneer in applied statistics. We explore the work of Nightingale, and in particular focus on her use of certain graphs which, following misreading of her work, are now commonly known as 'coxcombs'.

Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War

On 28 March 1854 Britain and France declared war on Russia, and for the next two years British, French, Sardinian, and Turkish troops fought against Russians in the Crimean War. The loss of life in the war was colossal; of 1 650 000 soldiers who began the war (of all nations), 900 000 died. The majority of those who perished did not die from wounds; rather they died from diseases brought about by the terrible living conditions which they suffered. In these notes we review the Crimean War, and the role Florence Nightingale had in highlighting the plight of the soldiers.

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