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Risk, chance, and probability

Dr Richard Price

This site is intended to gather information and evidence about risk, chance, and probability. It is dedicated to the memory of Richard Price, of Llangeinor in Glamorgan, who pioneered the gathering of information on death, thus becoming at the same time a founder of both epidemiology and the insurance industry. Richard Price organised Thomas Bayes' papers after his death, and wrote up the work on prior probability we know today as Bayes' Theorem; some think it should be Price's Theorem. He was also an economist (the younger Pitt used his ideas to manage government debt), a dabbler in science (Joseph Priestly and Benjamin Franklin bounced ideas about electricity off him), and he was an ethicist and thinker about individual liberty. Some of his thoughts were incorporated into the American Declaration of Independence. Other friends and correspondents included Adam Smith, John Quincey Adams, and John Howard.

Price was a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and given the Freedom of the city of London. He was also honoured by Yale University (alongside George Washington), and invited by the young USA to assist in its financial administration. Price was also highly regarded in France, where he was made a Freeman of the city of Paris, and an honorary member of the National Assembly. On his death, France had a day of mourning. Curiously, in Wales, where he was born, he is almost unknown.


The information in Bandolier is not intended as specific medical advice, and is Bandolier's own interpretation of data largely published elsewhere. Individuals seeking specific advice should consult their own doctor.

Bandolier has a license to use visual aids from the Risk Communication Insitute, which holds the copyright. Organisations or individuals wishing to use Risk Communication Insitute visual aids should contact John Paling (

Some background to risk and risk presentation

2008 review paper on risk presentation Numeracy Literacy Age, sex, and death


Chance of sharing a birthday Winning the Lottery - the DICE studies Risk of death compared with winning the lottery Womens' knowledge of contraception and risk

Risk presentation

Alligator alley - Paling perspective scale Making tough decisions Pills, Purchasing and Presentation Risk Risk perception and presentation

What people think

Accepting risk Attitudes to risk in osteoarthritis Citizens have inadequate medical knowledge
What patients want to know about AEs Understanding risk

Risk collection - general

Risk of dying and sporting activities Risk of death and transportation (population basis) Death, transportation, and travel (UK) Accidents etc and death Risk of death from mad cow disease (vCJD) and CJD in the UK Risk of death from plague today and in history Risk of death from hospital acquired infection in the UK (2006) Risk of death from a meteorite Risk of death from an ambulance accident Risk of dying abroad Risk of death from shark attack

Risk collection - medical

Leading causes of death in the USA Causes of death in the USA Risk of dying from medical conditions Lifestyle factors and risk Lifestyle risk perspective Diabetes risk Stillbirth risk Risk of dying of dementia

Absolute risk information

AF and risk of stroke Aspirin in high risk patients Cardiovascular mortality and risk score Calculating the risk of NSAID GI hospital admission Gout risk and obesity Epidural and risk: it all depends Fatal occupational injuries Increased risk of intracranial haemorrhage with aspirin plus warfarin Intrathecal opioids and foetal bradycardia in labour Lignocaine and neurological harm Low dose aspirin - harm and benefits Low-dose aspirin and cancer Maternal age and risk of Dow's affected child Risk: aspirin or car? Comparing drugs risk with life risk Risk and obstetric epidurals Risk of death by age and sex Risk of death from choking - a perspective Sudden cardiac death The trouble with aspirin

Risk, screening, and tests

Ottawa ankle rules revisited Risk and Down's screening

Framing information



Gerd Gigerenzer - Reckoning with risk Kay Mohanna and Ruth Chambers - Risk matters in healthcare: communicating, explaining and managing risk Book review: helping understand risk John Paling - Up to your armpits in alligators John Paling - Helping patients understand risks


Risk communication institute John Paling - Up to your armpits in alligators John Paling - Helping patients understand risks Institute for risk analysis and risk communication Risk communication websites UK National Statistics UK Health & Safety Executive US National Center for Health Statistics US National Safety Council