Virtual Event: Tim Harford
The Data Detective:
Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics
in conversation with MARIA KONNIKOVA
February 26, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes award-winning writer and economist TIM HARFORD—author of the bestselling The Undercover Economist—for a discussion of his latest book, The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics. He will be joined in conversation by MARIA KONNIKOVA, acclaimed writer, international poker player, and author of The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Data Detective on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Data Detective
Today we think statistics are the enemy, numbers used to mislead and confuse us. That’s a mistake, Tim Harford says in The Data Detective. We shouldn’t be suspicious of statistics—we need to understand what they mean and how they can improve our lives: they are, at heart, human behavior seen through the prism of numbers and are often “the only way of grasping much of what is going on around us.” If we can toss aside our fears and learn to approach them clearly—understanding how our own preconceptions lead us astray—statistics can point to ways we can live better and work smarter.
As “perhaps the best popular economics writer in the world” (New Statesman), Tim Harford is an expert at taking complicated ideas and untangling them for millions of readers. In The Data Detective, he uses new research in science and psychology to set out ten strategies for using statistics to erase our biases and replace them with new ideas that use virtues like patience, curiosity, and good sense to better understand ourselves and the world. As a result, The Data Detective is a big-idea book about statistics and human behavior that is fresh, unexpected, and insightful.
Praise for The Data Detective
“We are supremely lucky to have the fabulously readable, lucid, witty, and authoritative Tim Harford to remind us why fact, reason, numbers, clarity, and truth matter, how beautiful they are and how crucial to our understanding of the natural world and human society. Every politician and journalist should be made to read this book.” —Stephen Fry
"In The Data Detective, Tim Harford continues to amuse and instruct the reader with deceptively profound and broad statistical intuition and wisdom. He finds historical precedent for our modern mistakes that are delightful and enlightening and serve to make us hopeful rather than despairing about our future—a feat in itself." —Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction
"Thanks to Tim Harford's characteristic wit and magnetic storytelling, you may not realize you're getting an advanced course in how to understand the kind of statistics we're all faced with every day. The Data Detective is certainly a fun book to read, but it's also a genuinely important one." —David Epstein, author of Range
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