This week, the UK government relaxed what many regard as the last mandatory restrictions related to the COVID–19 pandemic in England. Meanwhile, the media has been buzzing with a mass of sometimes contradictory facts, theories and opinions from ministers and health officials. All of them experts in their respective fields and all weighing in on whether ‘Freedom Day’ (as it has been dubbed in some areas of the press) is scientifically misinformed, economically essential or morally dubious.
The situation reminded us of a post from last year where our CEO and Founder, Gareth Dunlop discussed the human need for certainty, the shifting idea of an ‘expert’ and the danger of a ‘little bit of knowledge.’ While the article first appeared a year ago, it is startlingly relevant to this week’s events. In this article Gareth examines:
The persuasive power of certainty
The human aversion to uncertainty
The challenge of drawing conclusions for large, noisy and ambiguous data sets