Factfullness by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling

Factfullness by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling

This book is the last publication by Hans Rosling, which was written in collaboration with his son and daughter in law and later published after his death in 2017. Rosling was a Swedish medical doctor, academic, and statistician. He was also one of the initiators of Médecins Sans Frontières or Doctors Without Borders. You may know him from his famous presentations and TED Talk where he shows animated charts over a timeline and his lectures often ended by him swallowing a sword! The authors also founded the Gapminder Foundation. One of my dreams in my company rmdStudio is to someday do a project for the Doctors Without Borders organization.

I was expecting this book to be full of tiresome facts and charts, but instead, it turned out to be one of the best checklists on fact-checking news, publications, and claims. Dr. Rosling has accompanied every chapter with fascinating stories about him travelling to different parts of the world and helping countries who were dealing with dire medical situations. In one story, he wanted to obtain blood samples from people in a village to figure out the reason behind an unknown epidemic, but instead, he was surrounded by people who thought he needed the blood to perform black magic on them. They were about to chop him up to pieces with their machetes until an old lady in the crowd trusted his word and saved his life as a result.

I also think this book would be a great read for high school students who are developing their fact-checking skills. In a day and age where information is abundant, but fact-checking skills are rare, it’s never too early to get people started.

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