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Rothschild Lecture: Helping Doctors and Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics

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FOS - Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science

Efficient health care requires informed doctors and patients. Yet studies consistently show that most physicians have great difficulties understanding health statistics. This widespread innumeracy makes informed decision-making difficult, a problem amplified by conflicts of interest and defensive medicine. Here I report about the efforts of the Berlin Harding Center to help professionals and laypeople to understand evidence, and stamp out the use of misleading statistics in pamphlets, journals, and the press. Raising taxes or rationing care is often seen as the only viable alternative to exploding health care costs. There is, however, a third option: by promoting health numeracy, better care can be had for less money.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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