Thu, 20 May 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Superforecasting – The Art and Science of Prediction

Professor Philip Tetlock In Conversation With Robin Ince

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What if we could improve our ability to predict the future? Wharton School psychologist Philip Tetlock has dedicated his life to studying why some of us have more accurate foresight than others – and joins us to share their secrets.

Everything we do involves forecasts about how the future will unfold. Whether buying a new house or changing job, designing a new product or getting married, our decisions are governed by implicit predictions of how things are likely to turn out. The problem is, we’re not very good at it.

In a landmark, twenty-year study, Wharton professor Philip Tetlock showed that the average expert was only slightly better at predicting the future than a layperson using random guesswork. Tetlock has since shown that there are, however, some people with real, demonstrable foresight. These are ordinary people, from former ballroom dancers to retired computer programmers, who have an extraordinary ability to predict the future with a degree of accuracy 60% greater than average. They are superforecasters.

He joins us to share his insights into this elite group – and offer practical advice on how we can all use their methods for our own benefit, whether in business, international affairs, or everyday life.

Praise for Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting:

‘The best way to know if an idea is right is to see if it predicts the future. But which ideas, which methods, which people have a track record of non-obvious predictions vindicated by the course of events? The answers will surprise you, and they have radical implications for politics, policy, journalism, education, and even epistemology – how we can best gain knowledge about the world. The casual style of Superforecasting belies the profundity of its message.’ – Steven Pinker

‘A manual for thinking clearly in an uncertain world. Read it.’ Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

‘The techniques and habits of mind set out in this book are a gift to anyone who has to think about what the future might bring. In other words, to everyone.’ Economist

‘A terrific piece of work that deserves to be widely read . . . Highly recommended.’ Independent

‘The best thing I have read on predictions . . . Superforecasting is an indispensable guide to this indispensable activity.’ The Times

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Philip Tetlock

Wharton School Professor

Phil Tetlock is the co-founder of Good Judgment Inc and Annenberg University University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, with dual appointments at Wharton School and the School of Arts and Sciences. Phil has written widely in peer-review and mass-media publications, including two key books, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (recently reissued with new preface) and Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. He was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.

Robin Ince

Comedian and co-host of award-winning Radio 4 science show The Infinite Monkey Cage.

Robin Ince is the co-presenter of Radio 4’s multiple award winning The Infinite Monkey Cage. He spent 2019 appearing across the world in the Universal tour with Brian Cox – travelling from LA to Oslo, Wellington to Aberdeen and ending up in Reyjavik after shows at the 02 and Wembley Arena. Robin co-wrote How to Build a Universe (part 1) with Brian Cox and his most recent book is I’m a Joke and So Are You, a book about why we become who we become and how we deal with it.