Statistical Literacy and Science Communication: Interdisciplinary Workshop
September 22 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The purpose of the workshops is to explore and build research ideas at the intersections of scientific
and statistical evidence, media reporting, and their influence on public policies and behaviour.
We bring together academics from Durham University, across multiple disciplines to discuss these
issues, create networks and generate proposals for future research.
Workshop 1: Statistical Literacy: Thursday 22 September 2022, 1pm-5pm, Cosin’s Hall (IAS)
Literacy is regarded as the starting point of education, a means through which we can gather further
knowledge. It is, however, often associated with reading and writing, rather than numeracy. Yet,
most of what we value about literacy (e.g., identification, interpretation and understanding),
requires an ability to interpret numbers and not just the written word.
Some key questions for discussion:
• Why do certain groups in society value statistical literacy, while others find it inaccessible?
• Do journalists in the UK receive sufficient statistical training to communicate scientific
• What are the causes of statistical illiteracy? Perhaps this is due to “maths anxiety” or an
inability to see value in being numerical literate?