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The world is a messy, complicated place so how do scientists come up with their simple models of reality? What do we do when models conflict with our common sense? Using examples from epidemiology and health economics, our speakers will push the limits of scientific models. An interesting discussion is bound to follow and Pint of Science prizes can be won! This event will be held on the first floor and there is no step-free access.
Can your postcode really make you sick? The question of causality
Vaccines don’t cause autism. Smoking causes lung cancer. But what does it really mean for one thing to cause another? Social aspects of our lives have a demonstrable impact on health – but how do we show that poverty actually causes ill health? Perhaps even more importantly, how do we show that structural inequalities like racism or social policies like austerity, cause negative health outcomes? What is the intersection between statistics and social justice? Daniel will outline how social scientists infer causality, with examples of how various social phenomena impact our health.
We don’t think good: Why rationality is an illusion
Dr Roxanne Kovacs (Research Fellow in Health Economics)
This talk is going to challenge one of the key ideas of our time: that human beings are rational. Most of us believe that we make choices for good reason – we bought that smartphone for its functionality, we took that job because we’ll learn most, and so on. But is there any truth to this belief? Get an insight into what the latest research in behavioural economics is telling us about how people actually make choices – which, unfortunately, has little to do with rationality.