WS More or Less: Does Being Taller Make You a Pro Basketballer?
Former FBI Director James Comey is very, very tall – over two metres tall, or 6’8”. Many media outlets commented on his height during his recent difficulties with President Trump. It has prompted us to explore – if he hadn’t worked for the FBI, could he have counted on his height alone to have a career in basketball? In this week’s programme Tim Harford looks at the likelihood that James Comey – or any very tall person - might have made it as a pro in the NBA. He speaks to data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz who has crunched the numbers on height, class and race to find out who is more likely to make it as a basketball superstar. Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith (Picture: Former FBI Director James Comey, Credit: Shutterstock)
Poverty, Progress 8 and how green is grass?
(0.22) Are more children from working families in poverty?
(6.50) Progress 8 – explaining the new school league tables for England
(12.51) Can a garden product really make your grass 6 times greener?
(18.03) ‘Data is’ versus ‘data are’
(20.21) Royal Wedding economics
WS More or Less: Tulipmania mythology
The story goes that Amsterdam in the 1630’s was gripped by a mania for Tulip flowers. But then there was a crash in the market. People ended up bankrupt and threw themselves into canals. This story is still being trotted out when people talk about financial markets, lately as a comparison to buying and selling bitcoin. But how much of what we know of the Tulip craze is fact, and how much is myth? We speak to Anne Goldgar at Kings College London who explains all.
Abortion, modern slavery, math versus maths
(00:26) The UK abortion statistics gaining attention in Ireland’s referendum debate (03:49) Superforecasting author Phillip Tetlock talks to Tim Harford (09:51) Modern Slavery figures in the UK (17:43) Should you say math or maths?
WS More or Less: Exposing the biases we have of the world
The great statistician, Hans Rosling, died in February last year. Throughout his life Hans used data to explain how the world was changing – and often improving – and he would challenge people to examine their own preconceptions and ignorance. Before he became ill, Hans had started working on a book about these questions and what they reveal about the mental biases that tend to lead us astray. Tim Harford speaks to his son Ola and daughter in law Anna who worked on the book with him.