Hans Rosling; an inspirational human

I first came across Hans Rosling, as many did, by looking at one of his highly entertaining and informative Ted Talks.

Here was a Doctor and Lecturer in International Health issues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showing us in his inimitable way how we often have no real idea about the actual statistics about development, population and climate change really are.

Hans 1

He and his son had developed a brilliant animation programme that allowed you to see statistics almost come alive before your eyes. An example can be seen in the following photo:

Hans 2

 

The key thing with Hans Rosling was that he wanted data to be available and discussed. He was in favour of richer countries supporting developing countries because he had the data to prove just how significant the inputs have been in terms of lower deaths from disease, greater life spans, the reduction of population, particularly by the growing availability of education for girls.

As the Guardian obituary (link above)   stated:

“Given the timing, with all the talk about fake news, alternative facts, concern over misinformation and propaganda-by-numbers, Rosling stood for the exact opposite – the idea we can have debates about what could or should be done, but that facts and an open mind are needed before informed discussions can begin.”

He is a sad loss for all of us at a time when we can ill-afford to miss his wisdom, his humour and especially his optimism.

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