Why pandemics and climate change are hard to understand and make decision making difficult

Alan Dix

1 Computational Foundry, Swansea University, Wales
2 Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales
3 University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
4 Universidade de Lisboa Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal

Online Seminars on Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Presented by British Computer Society Interaction Group and Interacting with Computers, 27 February 2023

This talk draws on diverse psychological, behavioural and numerical literature to understand some of the challenges we all face in making sense of large-scale phenomena and use this to create a roadmap for HCI responses. This body of research points the way toward current challenges and equips us with tools and principles that can help HCI researchers deliver value. The talk is framed by looking at patterns and information that highlight some of the common misunderstandings that arise – not just for politicians and the general public but also for those in the academic community’s heart. This talk does not have all the answers to this, but we hope it provides some and, perhaps more importantly, raises questions that we need to address as scientific and technical communities.

Keywords: cognitive bias, quantitative-quantitative reasoning, numeracy, Covid-19, coronavirus, climate change




HCI design challenges

HCI design challenges


SIT model

Exploring an SIR epidemiology model


image of SARS-Cov-2 virus

SARS-CoV-2 (wikimedia)



Alan Dix 25/2/2023