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Edinburgh Fringe 2018

The Naked Blind Data Show

The Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Genre: Spoken Word

Venue: New Town Theatre


Low Down

A bio ethicist and a data scientist take us through the latest one off lecture style show on how our data is managed and how it should cause us less fear than we feel. They do so in 4 parts which looks at data anonymity, medical analysis, algorithm uses of data and data breaches.


This is less theatrical than informal learning. The two guides for today are curated through one person, Susan. Clearly experienced in managing both academics and the audience Susan delivers an engaging opening that draws you into the concept with some ease.

Both academics are clearly used to talking to groups where they have an audience willing to learn – let’s be honest not many were going to mistakenly turn up to something like this. But once you have an audience then you need to entertain them. Both Sarah and Lee manage that with finesse.

What helps are the interactive games of Guess Who blindfolded to show how anonymity works and the questionnaires where consent is illustrated. Both are given weight in the way in which they convince us that the data sharing we have become involved in, is key to the development of new medicines and how Lee would not have passed muster in attitude and application stakes whilst he was at University.

The issues of data management have become increasingly part of our daily make up thanks to the thorny issue of GDPR. I am partly responsible for GDPR in two organisations – one a care organisation – so I was fascinated to see if this registered. It didn’t until the end where a question from the audience brought out a considered response and I have to say I was delighted that it only turned up right at the end! This was therefore a show with a secure agenda, clear focus and highly informative and entertaining people delivering it.

From our host to our academics this highlighted for me the opportunities that have clearly been grasped by the Universities to get these “dangerous” ideas out there for our consumption; this made me hungry for more.