Sunday, July 22, 2018

Hans Rosling - Factfulness (Flatiron, 2018) ****

If you don't know Swedish epidemiologist Hans Rosling, it's high time you find out about him on the internet, via his Gapminder Foundation, or through this book, which was published posthumously. 

Rosling is an incredible educator and big picture thinker, who managed to show the state of the world through very interesting visualisations of the evolution of poverty and wealth, of diseases and of demographic changes. 

"Factfulness" describes in a comprehensive way all his teaching, youtube presentations and TED Talks. 

This book should be mandatory reading in all schools across the world. It will bring both humility and hope for everybody. He demonstrates that most countries in the world are currently having the same living standards as the richest countries somewhere in the middle of last century. He shows how things improve for many people across the world, and how our categorisation of the world in "developed" and "developing" countries is completely outdated. 

One of the best things about his lectures, is that Rosling always submitted his audiences to a quiz before his presentation, only to show how most of us have completely wrong assumptions about the state of the world. And these audiences included politicians, journalists, WHO and IMF collaborators, who in general and with great majority gave the wrong answers. 

And that includes both you and me. So you'd better read this book too!

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