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How to Read Numbers


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About the Author

Tom Chivers is a science writer and author. He was awarded the Royal Statistical Society 'statistical excellence in journalism' award in 2018, and was highly commended for the same prize in 2017; he has also been shortlisted for the Association of British Science Writers award and a British Journalism Award in science writing, and won the American Psychological Society media award, all in 2017. His first book, The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, Rationality and the Race to Save the World, was declared one of The Times' science books of 2019. David Chivers is an assistant professor of economics at Durham University. Before this post he was a lecturer at the University of Oxford and completed his PhD at the University of Manchester, funded by the ESRC. He has published in academic journals such as Review of Economic Dynamics, Economic Theory and Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation. His research interests involve topics relating to inequality, growth and development.


A charming, practical and insightful guide. You might not even notice how much you're learning - you'll be too busy having fun -- TIM HARFORD, author of HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD ADD UP
A vital plea to take statistics more seriously - the prose being as clear and elegant as the numbers -- SATHNAM SANGHERA
Reading this book is strongly correlated with not looking stupid. Highly recommended -- HELEN LEWIS, author of Difficult Women
An excellent guide to everyday statistics . . . the authors do a splendid job of stringing words together so smartly that even difficult concepts are explained and so understood with ease. [A] timely and lively book -- Manjit Kumar * THE TIMES *
Wonderfully written - incredibly readable. It should be made compulsory reading for everyone before they leave school -- EVAN DAVIS
An erudite, enlightening guide to the numbers we read in the news - and why they are so often wrong. The authors make sense of dense material and offer engrossing insights into sampling bias, statistical significance and the dangers of believing the casual language used in newspapers * INDEPENDENT *
[A] fascinating, easy-to-read explanation of how to interpret numbers in the news . . . their enlightening book provides us with the tools to spot when we're being led astray -- Nick Rennison * DAILY MAIL *
A great combination of important and accessible -- MISHAL HUSAIN
Brilliant . . . part of the joy of How to Read Numbers is how light and fun it is. At the end of the process, you'll be better equipped to understand what it means when a glass of red wine can both increase and decrease your chances of getting cancer, how many portions of fruit and veg you need to eat each day, and any number of stories about numbers you might read or hear * THE BIG ISSUE *
Fascinating, easy-to-read explanation of how to interpret numbers in the news . . .Their enlightening book provides us with the tools to spot when we're being led astray * THE DAILY MAIL *
This timely and lively book will help you to decode these numbers and spot those damned lies. * THE TIMES *
Part of the joy of How To Read Numbers is how light and fun it is This is a book by two people who in different ways are well versed in communicating complex subjects in a way that doesn't make their audiences feel small... The only problem for me is that while How To Read Numbers is a brilliant bit of writing about numbers, they haven't got me any closer to being able to do it well myself. Maybe I can persuade the Cousins Chivers to write a sequel called How to Write Numbers. * The Big Issue *

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