Could pool testing hold the key to ramping up Covid-19 testing? Read more
The magical maths of pool testing
Could pool testing hold the key to ramping up Covid-19 testing?
Caffeine and pregnancy
Do coffee and pregnancy mix?
Trump’s misleading 'fact' about the Covid-19 death count in the US
We examine a suspect stat from the US and an eye-popping claim about volumising mascara.
A short history of probability
Gamblers, millionaires and annuities
Auction Theory - Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson
This year’s Nobel memorial prize winners for economics and their work on auction theory.
US election: facts or fiction
Tim Harford hears about the sheer volume of false claims made in the campaign.
Asymptomatic Covid-19 cases
How many Covid-19 cases are truly asymptomatic?
How deadly is Covid 19?
Why there isn’t one single death rate.
How much protection will a new Covid-19 vaccine give?
Inviting Covid for Dinner
If you go to a gathering of 25 people, what are the chances one of you has coronavirus?
Tracking Covid 19
Which countries are doing well at keeping track of the virus?
Vaccines: How safe and who gets it?
Is it too soon to approve for use? Plus choosing who goes first.
QAnon: Child runaways and trafficking numbers debunked
Tackling statistics spread by conspiracy theorists.
The economics of a Covid Christmas
What to consider when buying presents this year
Numbers of the year: Part one
Tim Harford showcases statistics from 2020
Numbers of the year: Part two
Ants and Algorithms
David Sumpter describes the algorithms ruling the world
How effective is one Covid vaccine dose?
Calculating the protection given by the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine
Counting Covid’s impact on GDP
Which countries have done worse, and what can GDP tell us?
The rapid test row
The huge row among scientists about rapid coronavirus tests.
Glasgow vs Rwanda
Could life expectancy in some parts of Glasgow be worse than in Rwanda?
How much Covid in the world?
Counting all the virus particles in every human on the planet.
Covid 19 death count: Which countries are faring worst?
Tim Harford finds out if we can trust international comparisons with the available data.
Why are US Covid cases falling?
From herd immunity to the weather, Tim Harford explores the theories
Sainthood and Cup draws
Your chances of becoming a saint, plus football odds.
The truth about obesity and Covid-19
Are countries with higher obesity rates suffering from more deaths?
Deciding when to suspend a vaccine
Weighing up the risk of unproven side effects with stopping Covid-19
In praise of Covid Data
How we came to expect dashboards full of statistics.
Too fast for Minecraft?
Gamers raise suspicions over speed run times - are they right?
Clot risks: The Pill versus the vaccine
AstraZeneca’s clot controversy turns attention on the contraceptive pill.
How many swimming pools full of vaccine do we need
Adding together the doses for everyone on the planet.
Will 2021 have more Covid deaths than 2020?
We ask if this year’s global death toll will surpass 1.8 million.
Bayes: the clergyman whose maths changed the world
How an obscure theory came into fashion.
Finding Mexico City’s real death toll
How two data detectives revealed the pandemic’s impact.
Explaining maths without Numbers
Tim Harford speaks to mathematician Milo Beckman.
The medical trial that proved Trump wrong
The Recovery Trial identified drugs that helped save lives.
The Seaspiracy “virtually empty ocean” claim
Why it’s unlikely our oceans will be virtually empty by 2048.
Wales Vaccine Success
How to distribute jabs efficiently; plus adding 28 to 47
The doubling of life-expectancy
The story of how data helped extend our lives
The origins of Covid
How similar are the Covid strains?
Maths and the Mayflower
Are there really 35 million descendants of the Mayflower alive today?
Is Ivermectin a Covid ‘wonder drug’?
What do we know about the efficacy of Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19?
Are there 40 million Nigerians on Twitter?
Recent reports have claimed that Nigeria has 40 million Twitter users – but is this true?
Long Covid and Vaccinating Children
The world watches as the UK lifts its remaining Covid restrictions
The Rise of Delta
Where’s this new Variant spreading and what can be done to stop it?
Breaking climate records
The odds and probability behind record-breaking temperatures
Jab fears explained: a base rate fallacy
Why increasing Covid infections amongst the vaccinated isn’t necessarily bad news.
How good were the performances at the Tokyo Olympics?
What can the data tell us about the quality of the Covid hit games?
The extraordinary life of Robert Moses
The life of mathematics educator and civil rights organiser, Dr Robert Moses
Reason, numbers and Mr Spock
What role do numbers play in helping us think more rationally?
The bill for Afghanistan
Did the war in Afghanistan cost the US $2 trillion?
Is immunity from vaccines waning?
How worried should we be about declining antibodies? Plus life-threatening hotdogs.
How many holes are there in a drinking straw?
Tim Harford talks to Jordan Ellenberg about the pandemic, geometry and drinking straws
Has the number of periods a woman has in her lifetime quadrupled?
A claim about how many periods a woman has and a suspicious stat on single-use face masks
The Gender Pay Gap
Can Machiavelli help women get a better deal in the workplace?
Vaccinating the world
How countries’ vaccination rates measure up – and the trickiness of comparing them.
The prize-winning economics of migration and the minimum wage
A look at the work of this year’s winners of the most prestigious prize in economics.
The numbers behind Squid Game
Could you survive a round in Squid Game, and how many have watched it?
The art of counting
Tim Harford talks to author Deborah Stone about her book which explores counting
Same data, opposite results. Can we trust research?
Why the same data can produce different conclusions.
The carbon cost of breakfast at COP26
Can a vegan croissant really be worse for the environment than a bacon roll?
A TikTok tale
How a well-meaning TikTok disrupted 4,600 studies.
Simpson’s Paradox: How to make vaccinated death figures misleading
A tricky statistical phenomenon at play.
Does wearing a mask halve your chances of getting Covid-19?
Is it true wearing a mask reduces Covid-19 incidence by 53%?
Does catching Covid give you more immunity than being vaccinated?
Infection vs injection: Could Covid infection provide 27 times more protection?
The psychological economics of gift giving
How to buy gifts people actually want.
Numbers of 2021
The most significant numbers of the year
Will the population of Nigeria be larger than Europe’s?
Will Nigeria’s population really reach 600million?
How much plastic is in the ocean and can Mr Beast make a difference?
Can two social media stars remove $30million worth of plastic from the ocean?
QAnon: Did 365,348 children go missing in the US in 2020?
Fact checking a QAnon claim.
Are female patients more likely to die if the surgeon is male?
Should women be worried about having a male surgeon?
Fertility rates: Baby boom or bust?
Fertility rates around the world
Placebo: Can you fool your brain?
Looking at the power of expectations
Testosterone and sport
Trans women’s participation in elite sport
Hospitalisation rates for children with Covid
What does the data tell us?
Did lockdowns save any lives?
Did lockdowns actually save any lives?
Numbers in Ukraine and low seas in Chagos
Troop and casualty numbers in Ukraine
Does the UK take in more refugees than other European countries?
Fact checking Boris Johnson’s claim
Pizza and nuclear war
How good negotiation can help us split pizzas fairly and also avoid nuclear war.
Why has Hong Kong’s Covid wave been so bad?
What’s behind one of the worst Covid death rates ever?
Will the war in Ukraine cause a global wheat shortage?
How much of the worlds wheat comes from Ukraine and Russia
Did tea-drinking cut deaths in the Industrial Revolution?
How tea became an accidental lifesaver in 18th Century England.
Subitising and simplifying: how to better explain numbers
How can we clearly explain complex numbers to the public without losing their meaning?
Understanding India through data
What can data tell us about a country of 1.4 billion people?
Sweden’s polarising pandemic response
Has Sweden’s pandemic response been a triumph or a disaster…or something in-between?
Have the oceans become 30% more acidic?
Tim Harford asks how we measure the health of our oceans
Did the WHO get some of its excess death estimates wrong?
We look at the World Health Organisation’s latest estimates of the pandemic’s death toll
Are just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions?
Looking at numbers on green house gas emissions and stress.
Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman on how 'noise' impacts decision making
Are girls starting puberty earlier?
We look into a claim that the age of girls’ puberty is falling rapidly
Hannah Fry: Understanding the numbers of cancer
The maths professor on the choices she and others have faced after a cancer diagnosis
How often do people have sex?
Looking at sex and statistics in Japan and America.
Ed Sheeran and the mathematics of musical coincidences
Ed Sheeran thinks that musical coincidences will always happen… but do the numbers agree?