Everyone who's had to get to grips with chance knows how tricky even its simplest manifestations can be. Its workings are a constant challenge to common sense: a run of luck goes bad just when you trust it; expert predictions of everything from the weather to elections prove hopelessly unreliable; proven health advice turns out to be anything but. Award-winning scientist and writer Robert Matthews shows us how we can cut through the conundrums of chance. He gives us access to some of the most potent intellectual tools ever developed, and explains how we can use them to guide our judgements and decisions. By the end of the book you'll know: -The secret to predicting coincidences; -The golden rule of professional gamblers; -How to tell when insurance is a waste of money; -When to heed health and diet warnings - and when to ignore them; -How to tell when forecasts are worth taking seriously; -How to make better choices in the face of uncertainty. Using a host of real-life examples, this groundbreaking book shows how the laws of probability can sharpen your decisions, make the most of your luck - and quite possibly transform your life.
How probability affects our lives by one of Britain's leading science writers.
It takes an extraordinary writer to animate this driest of subjects for a general audience. That writer is Matthews ... At a time when mathematics needs charismatic ambassadors more than ever, Matthews has written a book of great significance. -- Oliver Moody Times Beguiling ... Matthews has the knack of explaining things clearly for the nonspecialist, leavening the formulae with intriguing snippets of history and biography ... his enthusiasm contributes to a lively and fascinating narrative. -- Ian Critchley Sunday Times Praise for Why Don't Spiders Stick to Their Webs: "Matthews gives us his wisdom like a beneficent and well-read uncle, entertaining his guests at the dinner table." -- Brian Clegg Popular Science Books Praise for 25 Big Ideas: "Robert Matthews has a gift for finding the simple, fascinating stories at the heart of concepts transforming the modern world" -- John Rennie, former Editor Scientific American
Robert Matthews is a Visiting Professor at Aston University, specialising in the mathematics of chance and uncertainty. His research on issues ranging from the prediction of coincidences to methods for turning evidence into insight has been published in many leading journals, including Nature and The Lancet. He is also an award-winning science writer, Science Consultant to BBC Focus and a former specialist correspondent with The Times and Sunday Telegraph. www.robertmatthews.org