Communicating Possible Harms and Benefits of Treatment
Spiegelhalter, OBE, FRS
Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk
Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit
Centre for Science and Policy
University of Cambridge
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
10:00 a.m. – noon
Building 45 (Natcher), Rooms E1/E2
NIH Campus | Bethesda, Maryland
Office of Disease Prevention
National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Prevention
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Office of Biostatistics Research
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
About the Seminar
There is increasing attention to presenting potential benefits and harms of treatments
and lifestyle choices in a balanced and transparent way. Prof. Spiegelhalter
discussed some proposals for how this might be done, focused on alternative ways
in which numbers and graphics may be used, and emphasized the role of interactive
animations and videos. Recent research on public preferences and understanding of
different formats strongly suggests that one size does not fit all, and a range
of alternative presentations may be appropriate.
About Professor David Spiegelhalter, OBE, FRS
Prof. Spiegelhalter is Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the
University of Cambridge, where he is also a senior scientist in the Medical Research
Council Biostatistics Unit. His background is in medical statistics, particularly
the use of Bayesian methods in clinical trials, health technology assessment, and
drug safety. He led the statistical team in the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry
and also gave evidence to the Shipman Inquiry. Prof. Spiegelhalter has been a consultant
to a number of public and private organizations, including pharmaceutical companies.
In his current post, he leads a small team that is attempting to improve the way
in which the quantitative aspects of risk and uncertainty are discussed in society.
He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2005 and awarded an Order of the
British Empire in 2006 for services to medical statistics.
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