Vale Hans Rosling

Sad news from Sweden this week: Hans Rosling, statistician and founder of Gapminder, has passed away. It’s not easy to make development data meaningful to the non-technically inclined, but Rosling did just this, conveying important messages while he was at it, as The Guardian‘s obituary details.

For those who haven’t seen his mastery in action, his first, famous TED talk is here, as well as a more recent one here. You can watch the work of Rosling and others at the Gapminder website, where you can also create charts of your own, bringing your own data to life. And while you’re there, take time to watch the history of human development in just one chart.

Here’s another great video below of Rosling sharing his love of data and stats with the BBC. His work was always an important reminder of the importance of communicating research and numbers in ways that can have impact for the widest possible audience.

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Terence Wood

Terence Wood is a research fellow at the Development Policy Centre. His research focuses on political governance in Western Melanesia, and Australian and New Zealand aid.

Ashlee Betteridge

Ashlee Betteridge was the Manager of the Development Policy Centre until April 2021. She was previously a Research Officer at the centre from 2013-2017. A former journalist, she holds a Master of Public Policy (Development Policy) from ANU and has development experience in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. She now has her own consultancy, Better Things Consulting, and works across several large projects with managing contractors.


  • 2017 begins as 2016 finished off – more great people checking out – maybe the state of the world broke their hearts!

    • Thanks Garth – that’s a classic victory of numbers over journalist. To be (very) picky, he was being a bit selective once he got onto politics and governance. My understanding (could be wrong; worth double checking) is that WB governance indicators haven’t been improving over time in recent years (same true with democratisation). (As an aside, this brings a puzzle: if governance is so important, why are other things still getting better.)

      Still this is a minor comment. I liked the video, thanks for sharing.

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