This year's Charles Simonyi Lecture is given by David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Churchill College, Cambridge. 2011 marks the 250th anniversary of the death of Reverend Thomas Bayes, a non-conformist clergyman of Tunbridge Wells. When he died in 1761 he left behind two revolutionary ideas; ‘expressing our uncertainty about current or future states of the world as a probability distribution', and ‘how to revise our probabilities in the light of experience'.
Professor David Spiegelhalter will talk about some selected modern applications of these concepts, such as catching doping athletes, predicting volcanic eruptions, gambling and weather forecasting. He will also argue that probability does not exist, and check whether the audience know how much they know.