Hans Rosling was a Swedish physician, academic, statistician, and public speaker. He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute] and was the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation. He held presentations around the world, including several TED Talks in which he promoted the use of data to explore development issues. He died on 7 February 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Rosling

He believed that the way in which we saw the world was wrong. And he worked to change our worldview by presenting data about our world in remarkable ways. One of his phrases that I keep in mind is, “Facts are better than myths….especially for understanding our world.” In the world of today that thought seems to be particularly relevant.

He persuaded the World Bank to make all of its data public. In Hans’ view, data was something that people should use, it was not something that organisations should make money from. This comes from the World Bank’s appreciation of Hans. “He changed the way people think about data, but now we’ve got to use data to change the way people think about the world.” http://blogs.worldbank.org/opendata/hugs-and-databases-memory-hans-...

He showed us how little we know about the world and how much we think we know about the world. Our view of the world is based on the past and the world is changing for the better. Gapminder has a programme to help us to leave some of our ignorance behind. You can find it at: http://www.gapminder.org/ignorance/

Hans demonstrated time and again that all of us, including experts of all descriptions, were not just ignorant, we were biased towards a view of the world that sat in the past. The world has changed and our description of it has not kept up. There are innumerable TED talks where you can listen to this: this is an old one but I still like it: https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_...

It always annoyed Hans that he was so entertaining that people remembered him rather than what he talked about. Here is a very beautiful piece (in English) taken from a Swedish newspaper that deals with the problem of being famous and not being listened to: http://www.sydsvenskan.se/2017-02-13/this-is-how-we-let-hans-roslin...

The Gapminder Foundation will continue the work of Hans. Their website provides us with a remarkable set of tools to understand our world based on facts rather than opinion. http://www.gapminder.org/

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on March 14, 2017 at 8:35am
This is a very significant loss.  Prof Hans Rosling made data fun, interesting and useful


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