Cautionary Tales Florence Nightingale and Her Geeks Declare War on Death

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Victorian nurse Florence Nightingale (played by her distant cousin Helena Bonham Carter) is a hero of modern medicine – but her greatest contribution to combating disease and death resulted from the vivid graphs she made to back her public health campaigns.

Her charts convinced the great and the good that deaths due to filth and poor sanitation could be averted – saving countless lives. But did Nightingale open Pandora’s Box, showing that graphs persuade, whether or not they depict reality?

The Host

Tim Harford

Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…