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Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, the keynote speaker at our summer conference, brings life to a subject with a tarnished reputation in The Art of Statistics.

The numbers have no way of speaking for themselves. We speak for them. We imbue them with meaning,”

Nate Silver, The Signal, and the Noise.

This quote appears at the beginning of The Art of Statistics. It gives a very good idea of the approach that Professor Spiegelhalter will take on this fascinating journey through the purpose, history, and application of statistical techniques. Yes, I did just use the words “fascinating” and “statistical techniques” in the same sentence!

The Art of Statistics is as informative as an introductory statistics textbook but presented through a series of stories about: how Harold Shipman was caught; who the luckiest person on the Titanic was; why old men have big ears; and even how many different sexual partners Brits have.

For teachers of Core Maths, A level Mathematics, and A level Further Mathematics, this book will provide both a valuable foundation of subject knowledge and inspiration for teaching the statistical elements of each course.

The last few years have taught us all the importance of analysing data and communicating about it effectively in response to international crises. The Art of Statistics was published just before the start of the pandemic. From 2020-2022, Prof Spiegelhalter was never far from our television screens, radios, and newspapers, trying to help the public make sense of the constant stream of data. He has published a further book entitled Covid by Numbers and continues to speak publicly.

It is also worth looking back at his earlier books, the website from his time as Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk and also the website.

We are very fortunate that Professor David Spiegelhalter will give the keynote address at our East of England KS5 Maths Conference on 20 June at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge. This will be a day of professional development workshops for teachers, which you won’t want to miss! So, make sure it is in your diary now. Bookings will open shortly, but you can confirm your interest with your local Area Coordinator.

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