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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529364910

Price: £21.99

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How do mathematical models shape our world – and how can we harness their power for good?

Models are at the centre of everything we do. Whether we use them or are simply affected by them, they act as metaphors that help us better understand the increasingly complex problems facing us in the modern world. Without models, we couldn’t begin to tackle three of the major challenges facing modern society: regulation of the economy, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet in recent years, the validity of the models we use has been hotly debated and there has been renewed awareness of the disastrous consequences when the makers and interpreters of models get things wrong.

Drawing on contemporary examples from finance, climate and health policy, Erica Thompson explores what models are, why we need them, how they work and what happens when they go wrong. This is not an audiobook that argues we should do away with models, but rather, that we need to properly understand how they are constructed – and how some of the assumptions that underlie the models we use can have significant unintended consequences. Unexpectedly humorous, thought-provoking and passionate, this is essential listening for everyone.

(P) 2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Reviews

Carefully researched and beautifully written, Dr Thompson's Escape from Model Land reveals how our progressively complex world is dominated by well-meaning experts' use and misuse of increasingly impenetrable models . . . For an open-minded reader keen to expose, understand and potentially reconstruct their own worldview, Escape from Model Land is, at the same time, an uncomfortable and uplifting read. It shines a gentle light on many of our own norms and beliefs
Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester