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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 17:20 UK

Alcohol and cancer risk

Woman drinking wine
More or Less
Friday, 8 May 2009
BBC Radio 4, 1330 BST

A glass of wine each evening is enough to increase your chance of developing cancer, women were warned earlier this year.

That is according to research from the "Million Women Study" which links alcohol consumption to cancer risk.

But Dr David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at
Cambridge University, questions the report's conclusions.

Snap decisions

Rafael Nadal during the mens singles final at Wimbledon 2008
Would you have guessed the outcome of last year's Wimbledon?

Can gut feeling be more accurate than careful analysis?

Gerd Gigerenzer, director of the the Centre for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, challenges conventional wisdom about how the brain thinks about numbers.

"Semi-ignorant people", he says, are better at predicting the outcome of Wimbledon than tennis experts.

Does More or Less make you mean?

Michael Horden as Ebenezer Scrooge and John Le Mesurier as Marley's Ghost
Ebenezer Scrooge was an avid More or Less listener

We are shocked to discover that statistics make you mean.

That is according to Deborah Small, a Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

She says statistical information in charity campaigns reduces sympathy.

Maths in music

Kate Bush
Pi: ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and Kate Bush song

It is the great poet Tennyson's bicentennial year.

And that is all the excuse we need to highlight flawed maths in popular music.

Why? It is complicated.

But it involves Charles Babbage, an 1842 poem and population statistics.

BBC Radio 4's More or Less is broadcast on Friday, 8 May at 1330 BST and repeated on Sunday, 10 May at 2000 BST.

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Drink a day 'raises cancer risk'
24 Feb 09 |  Health
Women 'unaware of alcohol threat'
17 Oct 08 |  Health
Clues to alcohol cancer mystery
25 May 08 |  Health
A little alcohol 'can be healthy'
09 Jan 08 |  Health
Decision time
23 Feb 09 |  Magazine
Giving to a lost cause?
13 Dec 07 |  Magazine

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