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Risk is an inevitable part of life, whether it’s skydiving, crossing the road or just staying in. So how do we decide what risks to take? These talks will take a look at some of the major risks to the society in which we live, and how differences in how the risks are communicated can have dramatic effects on how they are perceived.
Traversing the Cyber Risk Landscape
Cyber crime seems to be hitting the headlines as frequently as traditional crime nowadays. Ransomware. Viruses. Fraud. Hacking. Data exfiltration. What does it all mean? How does it affect me? For ‘Traversing the Cyber Risk Landscape’ I will be discussing recent newsworthy cyber events and the underlying trends which help us to identify our current risks, and, with any luck, future ones.
How should risk be communicated?
Joseph Wu (PhD Student in Department of History and Philosophy of Science)
Physicians and patients are confronted with difficult decisions every day. Many of these decisions are difficult because we simply cannot predict outcomes with certainty. Nevertheless, we can present statistical information that can estimate the likelihood of different events. For example, we might say that your risk of cancer relative to other people of the same age and sex is above or below average. The way this information is presented can dramatically affect our perception of risk. In this talk, I will discuss and explore the ethical considerations that guide our thinking about risk.
Communicating Risk and Uncertainty
David Spiegelhalter (Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, and Professor of Biostatistics)
None of us know what is going to happen, but sometimes we can put reasonable chances on what the future holds in store. Communicating these numerical risks is not straightforward, although research suggests the idea of 'expected frequencies' can be effective. People are willing to accept uncertainty about the future but, in this supposedly 'post-truth' world, will 'experts' be suspected if they admit uncertainty about what is happening now? I will look at some recent promising research on communicating uncertainty about numbers or scientific hypotheses without losing trust and credibility.