A live blog from the Saturday workshop with Hans Rosling’s Gapminder…

There is a huge amount of independent evidence “out there” about the harm caused by alcohol: the social, medical, democratic and economic harm. And yet many people don’t really know about it.

For example in Sweden people are not aware of the evidence showing that alcohol increases the risk of cancer. There is no safe amount of alcohol, which means as soon as a person starts using alcohol, the risk of getting cancer increases.

What’s the reason for evidence about this and other facts remaining in the shadow of human awareness?

Of course the alcohol industry plays its part: buying scientists and studies; investing millions into marketing and other communication strategies to put out biased information – are tactics Big Alcohol employs.

But we’ve realised as well that another obstacle is the way we communicate ourselves: the way we present data, statistics and facts. All too often it has been too boring, too dry, too scientific and too abstract to understand the information and make sense of it – and we have to admit this.

Being honest to ourselves, and in service to promoting independent evidence in the best possible way, I am right now attending a workshop run by Gapminder, organised by our Member Organisation IOGT-NTO.

Hans Rosling, who created Gapminder and is undoubtedly one of the world’s best presenters of statistics deserves a thought, because this is what it can be like to talk about data:

Today I am learning about the technology behind this and other presentations and I am learning about how to use it for presentations on alcohol harm.

Here is the first attempt:

Now I am learning to use statistics that speak to you. And hopefully they’ll resonate with you. As Gapminder says: “Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view.”