In this day and age, there is no excuse for that all-too-common malady, Death by Powerpoint.
In less than five minutes he gives an overview of how income and life expectancy have changed in 200 countries over the past 200 years. The presentation is based upon 120,000 numbers.
It’s a fine lesson in making complex issues accessible and entertaining. As Rosling says, “Having the data is not enough; I have to show it in ways people both enjoy and understand.”
Viewers can also play with the data themselves at Gapminder World.
The clip is from a one-hour BBC documentary, The Joy of Stats.
According to some blurb about the film, it:
… explores cutting-edge examples of statistics in action today. In San Francisco, a new app mashes up police department data with the city’s street map to show what crime is being reported street by street, house by house, in near real-time. Every citizen can use it and the hidden patterns of their city are starkly revealed. Meanwhile, at Google HQ the machine translation project tries to translate between 57 languages, using lots of statistics and no linguists.
Despite its light and witty touch, the film nonetheless has a serious message – without statistics we are cast adrift on an ocean of confusion, but armed with stats we can take control of our lives, hold our rulers to account and see the world as it really is. What’s more, Hans concludes, we can now collect and analyse such huge quantities of data and at such speeds that scientific method itself seems to be changing.
And long live the evolution of scientific presentations as well…
(Hat tip to University of Sydney’s Professor Simon Chapman for the link)