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Science & Technology

Alan Smith: Why Do We Trust Intuition Over Even The Most Reliable Numbers?

Part 3of the TED Radio Hour episode Can We Trust The Numbers?

About Alan Smith's TED Talk

For years, Alan Smith analyzed the most reliable demographic data in the U.K. – the census. He noticed people's perceptions conflicted with reality, and wondered if there was a way to bridge the gap.

About Alan Smith

As a data visualisation editor at the Financial Times, Alan Smith aims to bring data to a wider audience through digital graphics and statistics.

He previously worked at the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS) as their Head of Digital Content, where he developed an app that quizzed U.K. citizens on whether their perceptions of their neighborhood matched with demographic data from the census.

In 2010, he was an inaugural recipient of the Royal Statistical Society's Award for Excellence in Official Statistics. He was appointed Office of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's 2011 Birthday Honours list.

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