Episode 50

#50 Ta(l)king Risks & Embracing Uncertainty, with David Spiegelhalter

Folks, this is the 50th episode of LBS — 50th! I never would have thought that there were so many Bayesian nerds in the world when I first interviewed Osvaldo Martin more than 2 years ago. 

To celebrate that random, crazy adventure, I wanted to do a special episode at any random point, and so it looks like it’s gonna be #50! This episode is special by its guest, not its number — although my guest knows a thing or two about numbers. Most recently, he wrote the book Covid by Numbers.

A mathematical statistician dedicated to helping the general public understand risk, uncertainty and decision-making, he’s the author of several books on the topic actually, including The Art of Statistics. You may also know him from his podcast, Risky Talk, or his numerous appearances in newspapers, radio and TV shows.

Did you guess who it is?

Maybe you just know him as the reigning World Champion in Loop – a version of pool played on an elliptical table – and are just discovering now that he is a fantastic science communicator – something that turns out to be especially important for stats education in times of, let’s say, global pandemic for instance.

He holds a PhD in Mathematical Statistics from the University of London and has been the Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at Cambridge University since 2016. He was also the President of the famous Royal Statistical Society in 2017-2018.

Most importantly, he was featured in BBC1’s Winter Wipeout in 2011 – seriously, go check it out on his website; it’s hilarious.

So did you guess it yet? Yep, my guest for this episode is no other than Sir David Spiegelhalter — yes, there are Bayesian knights!

Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !

Thank you to my Patrons for making this episode possible!

Yusuke Saito, Avi Bryant, Ero Carrera, Brian Huey, Giuliano Cruz, Tim Gasser, James Wade, Tradd Salvo, Adam Bartonicek, William Benton, Alan O'Donnell, Mark Ormsby, Demetri Pananos, James Ahloy, Jon Berezowski, Robin Taylor, Thomas Wiecki, Chad Scherrer, Nathaniel Neitzke, Zwelithini Tunyiswa, Elea McDonnell Feit, Bertrand Wilden, James Thompson, Stephen Oates, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Jack Wells, Matthew Maldonado, Ian Costley, Ally Salim, Larry Gill, Joshua Duncan, Ian Moran, Paul Oreto, Colin Caprani, George Ho, Colin Carroll, Nathaniel Burbank, Michael Osthege, Rémi Louf, Clive Edelsten, Henri Wallen, Hugo Botha, Vinh Nguyen, Raul Maldonado, Marcin Elantkowski, Tim Radtke, Adam C. Smith, Will Kurt, Andrew Moskowitz, Hector Munoz, Marco Gorelli, Simon Kessell, Bradley Rode, Patrick Kelley, Rick Anderson, Casper de Bruin, Philippe Labonde, Matthew McAnear, Michael Hankin, Cameron Smith, Luis Iberico, Alejandro Morales and Tomáš Frýda.

Visit https://www.patreon.com/learnbayesstats to unlock exclusive Bayesian swag ;)

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About the Podcast

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Learning Bayesian Statistics
A podcast on Bayesian inference - the methods, the projects and the people who make it possible!

About your host

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Alexandre Andorra

Hi! I'm your host, Alex Andorra. By day, I'm a Bayesian modeler at the PyMC Labs consultancy. By night, I don't (yet) fight crime, but I'm an open-source enthusiast and core contributor to the awesome Python packages PyMC and ArviZ.

An always-learning statistician, I love building models and studying elections and human behavior. I also love Nutella a bit too much, but I don't like talking about it – I prefer eating it.

My goal is to make this podcast as interesting and useful to you as possible. So, hit me on Twitter or email with your questions and suggestions!