Recently at another ted conference, in what appeared to be very much a Rosling-inspired talk, Bono joined the ranks of analytics storytellers. In a story the stretched over 3,000 years – using a mixture of typical bombast, self-deprecation, hope, vivid graphics and, most importantly, compelling story-telling based on solid statistics – Bono delivered a message about the opportunity to end world poverty. Which leads us to the Irish.
Bono, whether people like him or not, is one of the great Irish storytellers. From Raftery to Roddy Doyle, and everyone in between, Ireland has a history of producing great storytellers. In fact, some might say that the Irish are the greatest storytellers in the world. To try to support this with some data we can use the total number of Nobel prizes for literature won by a country as a measure for a country’s storytelling prowess (the data used for this analysis is available here). A chart of the top ten most prolific Nobel prize for literature winning countries shows that Ireland comes in in 10th place with 4 prizes.