BOOK REVIEW

Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling

Dr Emma Johnston, Clinical Psychologist, Cumberland Park SA

19 February 2019

Factfulness.

Dr Hans Rosling

 

Have you ever found yourself feeling despondent about the state of the world? Worried about the exponential growth rate of the global population and what this might mean for the future? Focused on the increasing rates of poverty across the world and the lack of education for women in third world countries? If you are like me, we can feel completely helpless in the face of the news that seems to be presented to us about the world, and this can leave us stressed and upset about the world for future generations.

Dr Hans Rosling started his career as a doctor with a passion for health statistics, that he developed into a renowned career in global health research and education. In the book, Factfulness, Dr Rosling presents his lifetime of work in a manner that allows the average person to understand that perhaps the world isn’t in such a terrible state as we have believed it to be. He uses anecdotes and statistics to demonstrate that our beliefs about global poverty increasing are incorrect, that more and more girls and women are accessing education throughout the world, and that education and better health status has resulted in the beginning of the flat-lining of our global population curve.

This book, filled with beautifully presented graphs and evidence, anecdotes and experiences, gently draws the reader into a much more optimistic understanding of the future of the world. I, for one, found this to be a rare positive gem of a globally relevant non-fiction book, creating in me, a lighter perception of the future, and a great deal more hopefulness for the people of this world.

Dr Rosling defines factfulness as “the stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts”. I can testify to this definition by the change in my mindset about the world that has occurred for me after reading this book, and the less anxiety and angst I feel about the global future.

I highly recommend this read for anyone who has ever felt despair or despondency for the future of our world.

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