The December 2018 issue of Significance is out now in digital formats. In this issue, we explore the thorny topic of data ethics. 'Big data' is gradually revealing its potential to both help and harm us. But the rights and wrongs of what to do about this are hard to pin down, so Robert Langkjær‐Bain looks at the work under way to ensure the data revolution does not leave ethics behind.
Next, we turn our attention to the risk of extreme floods in England and Wales. In past winters, flooding has caused billions of pounds of damage, and though governments, emergency services and homeowners might like to think – and hope – that such extreme events are rare, statisticians have shown that they are likely to occur more frequently than expected.