Cambridge's Faculty of MathematicsDmitry Tonkonog

A new centre based at the Faculty of Mathematics had been established by the University, aimed at countering the rise of “post-truth politics”.

The Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, established by a £5 million benefaction from Winton Philanthropies, seeks to promote the presentation of accurate, relevant, and transparent information on important issues.

Led by Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, the centre will seek to develop methods for analysing and distributing quantitative evidence driven by the needs of different audiences. This will be achieved through ensuring that risk, data, and evidence is presented in a clear and unbiased forms.

Professor Spiegelhalter, a fellow of Churchill College, has been Winton Professorship of the Public Understanding of Risk since 2007. His research, which focuses on the modelling of uncertainty, the unknown, and the unmeasurable, has been the subject of the BBC 4 documentaries Tails You Win: The Science of Chance and the award winning Climate Change by Numbers. Professor Spiegelhalter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005, made an OBE in 2006, and knighted in 2014 for his services to medical statistics.

According to the centre’s aims, researchers will collaborate to ensure that “everyone has a right to balanced evidence on issues important to them; evidence presented in a transparent way, to inform but not persuade”. The first project being tackled by the new centre to create a website to clearly display the benefits and harms of alternative treatments for women with early stage breast cancer.