Mark Burke: The Chances of Death

A special Foundation Year Programme evening lecture by Mark Burke on "The Chances of Death"

7:00pm Wednesday, March 6 KTS Room, King's College

In an 1897 essay, the English mathematician Karl Pearson declared that death, like many other natural phenomena, exhibits a statistical regularity when examined on a large enough scale. This late 19th century view is a radical departure from the medieval personification of Death as one who strikes utterly at random. This lecture will examine how exactly this shift came about. Along the way we will look at statistics, smallpox, food riots, and, —most thrilling of all, —the world of maritime insurance.