iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Any Questions?
Sir Tom Devine, Ken Clarke, Charles Clarke, Fiona Hyslop
Image for 02/09/2011

Listen now 30 mins

Listen in pop-out player


30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 02 September 2011

In More or Less this week:

Debt: A European Odyssey

On More or Less we're always looking for the perfect analogy to help clarify complicated things. And the European debt crisis is pretty complicated. The good news is that we think we've come up with exactly the right way to describe the whole sorry business - as Homer's Odyssey.

Alternative medicine and the placebo effect

Earlier in the summer a study was published which seemed to suggest that acupuncture might help some patients with unexplained symptoms. Interesting. We asked Margaret McCartney, a Glasgow GP and a blogger on medical evidence, to investigate. But Dr McCartney thinks the study tells us about more than just acupuncture - it tells us something about the whole way in which treatments are administered on the NHS.

Asking the right questions

This summer, the Office for National Statistics celebrates seventy years of its social surveys. We've been looking back at their work, some of which is a little surprising. In November 1941 the Wartime Social Survey Unit undertook a major study of women's undergarments. The reason? Steel. Britain needed to know how much metal was being used to support the country's women, rather than the war effort.

Producer: Richard Knight.



    Don't miss an episode of More or Less by subscribing to the free podcast. Alternatively, you can catch up via the BBC iPlayer.

    Download the podcast


    Author of Adapt; Undercover Economist at the FT; presenter of More or Less, Radio 4.

    Tim Harford's Twitter feed
  • Debt – A European Oddessey

    How is the European debt crisis like Homer's Odyssey? Find out in Tim Harford's contribution to the Radio 4 and 4 Extra Blog.

    The Radio 4 and 4 Extra Blog



  1. Image for More or Less: Behind the Stats

    More or Less: Behind the Stats

    Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But…

  2. Image for Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford: Pop-Up Ideas

    Tim Harford – in the company of Malcolm Gladwell, David Kilcullen and Gillian Tett – uses key…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss