The Norm Chronicles: Stories about Danger


  • 27 March 2014
  • Seminar Room, Oxford Martin School
  • Organiser: Oxford Literary Festival
  • Event Details

Journalist and broadcaster Michael Blastland and academic expert Professor David Speigelhalter present their clever, entertaining and original take on risk. They follow Norm, an average guy, and his friends, the risk-averse Prudence, and hard-living Kelvin, for a look at risk, chance, probability and coincidence.

Blastland and Spiegelhalter introduce two new measurements of risk, a micro mort – a million in one chance of death, and a micro life – 30 minutes of life. Find out what is the bigger risk, an all-body health scan or standing a mile-and-a-half from the epicentre of the Hiroshima bomb. How do the risks compare for an average soldier in Afghanistan with those of a World War II aircrew, and what are the risks of a glass of wine or two, that cigarette, an extra sausage on your plate or watching two hours of television?

Blastland is a journalist and BBC Radio 4 broadcaster. He co-authored with Andrew Dilnot The Tiger that Isn’t. Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

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