Monthly Archives: June 2008

A random sampling of podcasts

I guess deep down that I actually quite like statistics, which is useful as I tend to have to deal with them daily.  A number of podcasts crossed my radar recently that all coincided on the topics of statistics, and more specifically the topics of randomness, probability and their relation to statistics.

The first one is Melvyn Bragg’s “In Our Time” (actually as I write this I realise that these are more radio show than podcast but.. nevermind.  Media convergence etc. etc.).  The programme focuses on ‘the history of ideas’ and the recent Probability – heads or tails? was an excellent introduction to the show for me.  Followed up with a subsequent episode about Lysenko, this has already established itself firmly in my listening schedule.

I was also surprised recently to come across More or Less, a programme which delves into the numbers behind the statistics that we come across every day.  It’s lighthearted and easy going (and unfortunately not currently on air) and is kind of a Freakonomics style look at things.  Very interesting though.

The most recent discovery however was Material World presented by Quentin Cooper.  I’d kind of veered away from pop-sci podcasts (well podcasts in general – I no longer follow the Science, Nature and New Scientist ones), but a section on probability in the most recent episode (largely following the same themes as the Bragg piece) did feature the most amazingly clear explanation of the Monty Hall Problem that I have ever heard, and if the quality is maintained in future episodes as I listen I will be very happy indeed.