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David Spiegelhalter's Personal Home Page

Contact Details
Statistical Laboratory
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road
Cambridge CB3 0WB,
Email: D.Spiegelhalter[at]
Telephone: +44 1223 337945
Fax: +44 1223 337956


From October 2016 I have been Chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication. This Centre, generously funded by the David and Claudia Harding Foundation , is based in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics in Cambridge, and is dedicated to improving the way that quantitative evidence is used in society.

From October 2007 until December 2018 I was the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge.

World Champion at Loop

I am the reigning (first and only) World Champion in Loop, the version of pool invented by Alex Bellos that is played on an elliptical table with a single pocket in the baize - more like a putting green than a pool table. Alex describes the principles in detail on the official Loop page.


Me in action at the Port Eliot Festival where I won the Loop championship - this was done using a mixture of mathematical insight, a little skill arising from a mis-spent youth, and a huge dose of luck.


Understanding Uncertainty and Risk

My work now is focussed on the Winton Centre - please see their website for details. The details below cover work between 2007 and 2016.

I work with a small team comprising Mike Pearson (web and animation), and Owen Smith (web). Our work focuses on the appropriate use of quantitative methods in dealing with risk and uncertainty in the lives of individuals and society. We fall into the broad category of 'public understanding of science', while our work with schools can be considered as 'maths outreach'. However we try to take a view of the subject that extends beyond the application of probability and statistics, acknowledging that there are deeper uncertainties that cannot be easily put into a formal framework, and that social and psychological issues necessarily play a vital role. We are involved in a number of different areas:

Teaching Probability

teaching probability cover Teaching Probability by Jenny Gage and myself is published by Cambridge University Press and forms the first book in a series from Cambridge Mathematics. This is the home page for the book, and this is the resource site for teachers.

Sex by Numbers

sex by numbers cover Sex by Numbers is published by Profile Books and the Wellcome Collection, and accompanies the Wellcome's excellent Institute of Sexology exhibition which runs until September 20th 2015. There is a rather neat animation that features some of the stats. Full details here.

The Norm Chronicles

The Norm Chronicles (with Michael Blastland) was published by Profile Books in June 2013. It has a promotional website.

Reviews (favourable!) have appeared in The Economist , Daily Mail , The Guardian , Sunday Times (Dominic Lawson) [paywall] , Bookbag , The Times , and a digested read in the Guardian .

Articles and interviews have appeared in Daily Telegraph , The Observer , The BIg Issue , Guardian Colour section , Pacific Standard , and an article by David Ropeik in the Big Think .

There is a video from the RSA featuring both the authors, and a Guardian podcast with an extensive interview with both of us.


[This needs updating] Here is a list of all my presentations since October 2007, including appearances at Cambridge Science Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, British Science Festival and Hay Literary Festival.

In over 400 talks since October 2007, audiences total around 51,000 (up to June 2014), including around 20,000 school students.

Recent presentations include:

Videos of talks

Many of my talks have appeared online, although I have not watched most of them and so can't comment on their quality. A sample is given below.

Recent Publications

Here is a list of publications since 2007: an earlier list is available here in a 2012 CV.












Immodest stuff

External work

In the past I have acted as a paid statistical consultant to a variety of organisations, including the Healthcare Commission, World Anti-Doping Agency, Novartis, and GlaxoSmithKline. I now occasionally accept fees for giving talks, which I donate to this excellent charity - the Karuna Trust.

Really Personal Page

This includes my stained glass work. [Currently off-line]

Last updated 20.6.13
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