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BBC Radio 4 - More or Less

More or Less: Behind the Stats

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. From BBC Radio 4

More or Less: Behind the Stats

  • Which city has the longest canals?
    After a listener emailed More or Less to ask whether world famous Venice or the slightly less famous English city of Birmingham has more canals, Daniel Gordon decided to investigate and widen the question to the whole world – with some interesting answers. Guests: Giovanni Giusto, Venice City Councillor David Edwards-May, Inland Waterways International Dr Hamed Samir, University of Basra Bai Lee, Editor of China Grand Canal Presenter/Producer: Daniel Gordon Series Producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: David Crackles (Picture: Gondola in Venice Credit: Jane Worthy/BBC)

  • Social housing, NHS workforce and Liz Truss debt claims
    Long: Housing minister Rachel Maclean claimed the government has built a record number of social rent homes. Tim and the team investigate. Following Lucy Letby’s conviction, we look at how sentences for murder have changed over the past few decades. Plus after Liz Truss’s speech this week defending her short stint as Prime Minister, Tim reminds us how her mini-budget raised borrowing costs and might have pushed up the national debt even more. And will 1 in 11 workers in England really work for the NHS by the middle of the next decade? Presenter: Tim Harford Series producer: Jon Bithrey Producers: Daniel Gordon, Natasha Fernandes, Nathan Gower, Charlotte McDonald, Editor: Richard Vadon Production Co-ordinator: Maria Ogundele Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar

  • How to approach the world through numbers
    How can we navigate our lives in a more efficient and satisfactory way? It’s a question Professor David Sumpter is looking to answer in his new book, Four Ways of Thinking. He talks to Tim Harford about four different approaches to our day to day challenges. Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Jon Bithrey Sound Engineer: Andy Fell Editor: Richard Vadon (Picture: Conceptual illustration of mathematics Credit: Science Photo Library / Getty)

  • Skin cancer, London rents and your great great great granddaughter
    A BBC report quoted a study that said 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women in the UK will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Tim Harford and the team look into the detail. Also London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said London’s average rent will hit £2,700 a month next year, with the average take home salary £2,131. How accurate are the figures and what do they tell us about the affordability of the capital’s rental properties? We fact check Donald Trump’s recent claim that 35,000 Americans died building the Panama Canal. And as noughties band Busted re-release Year 3000 with the Jonas Brothers, just how many greats should be in front of “granddaughter” in that famous lyric?

  • Did 35,000 Americans die building the Panama Canal?
    The construction of the Panama Canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through Central America is considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. It also caused enormous human suffering and loss of life. Donald Trump claimed in a recent interview that 35,000 Americans died in the canal’s construction. But is that true? Tim Harford finds out, with the help of Matthew Parker, author of Hell’s Gorge: The Battle to Build the Panama Canal. Presenter: Tim Harford Producer: Jon Bithrey Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot (Boat Crossing on the Panama Canal in Panama Credit: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)