• Thank you to everyone that attended IOHA London 2015!

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter


Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, and Professor of Biostatistics, University of Cambridge


David Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, and Professor of Biostatistics, at the University of Cambridge.  His background is in medical statistics, particularly the use of Bayesian methods in clinical trials, health technology assessment and drug safety.

In his post he leads a small team (UnderstandingUncertainty.org) that attempts to improve the way in which the quantitative aspects of risk and uncertainty are discussed in society.  He works closely with the Millennium Mathematics Project in Cambridge in trying to develop an exciting treatment of probability and risk for mathematics education.  He gives many presentations to schools and others, advises organisations and government agencies on risk communication, and is a regular commentator on current risk issues.  He presented the BBC4 documentary ‘Tails you Win: the Science of Chance”, and in 2011 competed in Winter Wipeout on BBC1.

He has over 190 refereed publications and is co-author of 6 textbooks, as well as The Norm Chronicles (with Michael Blastland). He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Risk Management, an Honorary Fellow of he Royal College of Physicians, was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005 and awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to medical statistics.

He is @d_spiegel on Twitter, and his home page is


David will be talking about the following:


“Friendly ways of communicating acute and chronic lethal risk”

Abstract: Did Barack Obama’s recent 3-day trip to Delhi cost him six hours off his life due to air pollution?   The media are full of stories about the risks we take every day, whether acute risks of sudden harm from accidents or violence, or chronic risks from our unhealthy lifestyles and the poisonous environment.  I shall explore some metaphors for vividly communicating risks, such as the ‘effective’ age of your body, and two units that can be used for small acute and chronic risks – the Micromort and the Microlife.  These allow transparent comparisons between a variety of risks, both voluntary and involuntary, and could be applicable to occupational health.

Contact Details

Website: http://www.statslab.cam.ac.uk/Dept/People/Spiegelhalter/davids.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/d_spiegel

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