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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Each year, the Department of Politics and International Studies and the Bennett Institute for Public Policy are pleased to host the Cambridge Public Policy Lecture.

In 2022, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter delivered a lecture on Trustworthy communication of data and evidence: the vital piece of policymaking.

The current pandemic has emphasised the key role that statistics play in understanding what is going on around us, whether we are citizens or policy-makers.  But can we trust all these claims?  

David Spiegelhalter looks at the ways statistics can be used to persuade audiences to think or act in a certain way, and contrasts this with efforts to make communication ‘trustworthy’. 

In particular, are communicators trying to inform, or persuade? Are they providing balance, and acknowledging uncertainties and limitations in the evidence? And are they doing enough to pre-emptively counter misinformation?

The event was chaired by Dr Cristina Peñasco, University Lecturer in Public Policy at POLIS.

Annual Public Policy Lecture video