Svaty Jan pod Skalou (near Prague), Czech Republic

Statistics: Lies and decisions in the real world (Under 18s)

when 7 August 2016 - 14 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
fee EUR 230

**Under 18s**

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”*

But are statistics really all that bad? Can they be helpful in the real world? Help governments decide how to spend money? How might statistics affect business decisions? Should they inform how we spend our time?

In this course we will delve into what statistics really are, what makes them both useful and potentially useless or even dangerous. You will explore in case studies from the real world what kinds of statistics are available to us to make decisions; and you will think about what makes good data from which we can extract statistics.

You don’t need to be good at school maths to enjoy this course. It is suited for anyone interested in using facts to critically reflect on choices – and it will touch on many different aspects of politics, economics and management, and philosophy.

*this may or may not have been a phrase used by British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli

This is the rough schedule of the course, subject to change:

Introduction to statistics: key ingredients and where they are used (split into case study groups)

Recognising useful statistics: what questions do they help us answer?
Gathering data: what to collect, how and why
Lies: a few mistakes in analysing and presenting data
Tough choices: are statistics enough to help us pick the “best” option?


Course leader

Margherita Philipp

Target group

High school students

Course aim

Understand what statistics really are, what makes them both useful and potentially useless or even dangerous.

Fee info

EUR 230: The participation fee includes academic and extracurricular activities, accommodation and full board.


We understand that people in different countries, and different people within each country, have very different ability to pay the participation fee. We, therefore, expect to offer partial scholarships to up to 80% of participants. You can apply for the s