LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

'Edutainer' Hans Rosling, Who Taught Us About The World, Has Died

Hans Rosling gives a presentation on global population at a conference in Oxford, England, in 2012.

He called himself an "edutainer."

He had a knack for explaining difficult concepts — global inequality, climate change, disease and poverty. He used maps, humor and props like storage boxes and colored stones to tell the story of our world and to advocate for the poor: "Health cannot be bought at the supermarket. You have to invest in health."

Hans Rosling, the medical doctor, professor of international health and statistician who found joy in hard facts, died on Tuesday from pancreatic cancer in Uppsala, Sweden, surrounded by family. He was 68.

Rosling had a colorful way of teaching. "I can show you! Let me show you the world," he said in an interview with The Guardian in 2013, using stacks of Lego-like bricks to show the narrowing gap between the world's rich and poor.

I had the privilege of seeing Rosling in person at a conference in Dar es Salaam in 2013. He gave an abridged version of the famous TED Talk he gave in 2006, which painted a positive view of development. He showed us that life is getting better for more people, if we only bothered to look at the numbers.

"Data is often better than you think," he said in that TED Talk.

In front of his PowerPoint presentation projected on the wall, he jumped and pointed from data point to data point, excited and breathless, like a tornado.

His enthusiasm was infectious. The room was filled with global health bureaucrats and government workers who had probably seen it all — but he had captured their attention completely. And mine, too.

Rosling, the co-founder of the Gapminder Institute, a global development "fact tank" in Sweden, definitely made statistics entertaining — but above all, he educated the world about itself. Here's a collection of some of his most popular video presentations.

The best stats you've ever seen

200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes

Global population growth, box by box

Where are the Syrian refugees?

Why did Ebola spread in West Africa?

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine

What's your favorite Hans Rosling video? Share with us on Twitter at @NPRGoatsandSoda.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org