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Social Sciences Research Methods Programme | SSRMP




Data Behind the Headlines is a public programme of talks presented by the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme (SSRMP) at Cambridge University. We will explore how the application of research methods and data analysis impacts on the way we understand and address the most pressing and current social issues.


ONLINE LECTURE | Fri 11 February 2022, 1-2pm

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter explores what the methods and data behind COVID-19 tell us about the Covid-19 pandemic


Our first (free) event features the inimitable Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter FRS OBE, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge, and former (2017-2018) President of the Royal Statistical Society. Professor Spiegelhalter works tirelessly to promote a better public understanding of risk and statistics and has been a leading contributor to discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the past two years, COVID-19 has dominated media headlines, and terms such as R0, flattening the curve, and self-isolation have become commonplace in public dialogue. However, the data behind the headlines has become politically contentious, and in some instances it has been weaponised by anti-lockdown and anti-vax groups. Rarely do political and public dialogues explore the methods researchers use to produce and analyse COVID-19 data, leading to ambiguity and even misunderstandings in the way that data is used to formulate policies that tackle the virus’s effects.

In this talk, Professor Spiegelhalter explores what the methods and data behind COVID-19 tell us about the pandemic.



Watch the lecture recording, below:



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