The current epidemic is notable for the vast traffic in official and unofficial information and claims. Using his research into appropriate ways of communicating uncertainty, Professor Spiegelhalter will assess the trustworthiness of the way risks and uncertain evidence have been talked about.

In particular, he will look at how background actuarial risk can be used to get a perspective on the risks facing those infected by the virus, and how the potential benefits and harms of vaccines can be communicated.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge. He is a statistician with wide ranging interests, but particularly in conveying a better understanding of risks, both known and unknown, to the public and how to modulate it. He did much work on the JBS3 risk calculator of Cardiovascular Risk. More on Professor Spiegelhalter’s work and career can be found here