Kellogg Student interviewed for BBC World Service: Listen to the broadcast

29 October 2018

Matthew Oxman is currently studying for a MSc in Evidence Based Healthcare. This summer, he was interviewed by Professor David Speigelhalter, Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge, for the BBC World Service documentary You can handle the truth: Can children, if taught properly, become the firewall against alternative facts?

Matthew’s area of research is the development and evaluation of learning resources to help people think critically about health information and decisions.  He has recently been in Uganda working on the Informed Health Choices project for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Having identified the difficulties involved in educating adults to assess evidence, the project chose to focus on teaching primary school children, in low income countries, how to make informed judgments and decisions.

The project decided that their main learning resource should be in the form of a comic book, which could be accessed by children of varying reading abilities and, as the majority of the children did not speak English as a first language, would help to overcome any language barriers.

Working with Sarah Rosenbaum, Researcher and Designer at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Matthew helped to create the comic book and develop content to assist the children in assessing the information they were give to identify false information and, in this instance, inaccurate health claims.

The programme goes on to investigate whether, in this age of social media and ‘fake’ news, the critical thinking skills these children, and others involved in similar trials across the world, have learnt, could have a long lasting effect on their lives.

To listen to the programme, click this link www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csxgn3 or to watch the accompanying short film, click www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0698w75.

To find out more about the Informed Health Choices project, click this link: www.informedhealthchoices.org