I'm giving a public lecture next Tuesday, February 21, at the University of Washington (UW). This is at the invitation of Professor Karen Cheng at the School of Art + Art History + Design. I will talk about what we know and what we don't know about visualization, and how we can expand our knowledge.
The talk I'm preparing is an extended version of my Empire Built On Sand paper and talk from BELIV last year. Here's the abstract:
How Do We Know That?
We know some things about data visualization, and we don’t know others. But it turns out that many of the things we think we know, we actually don’t. Much of what we believe about charts and visualization is based less on evidence and well-constructed science than we like to believe. Are bar charts always the best choice? Are embellishments bad? Are pie charts really evil? Is animation always distracting? When might it work?
Instead of well-run experiments and real evidence, many supposed rules are based on opinion, aesthetic judgments, and incomplete or oversimplified studies. You wouldn’t know that from the level of conviction with which these things are often stated. In this talk, I will show you that some of the things we just assume to be true are actually wrong. There are many things we don’t really know—and it is important to ask, how do we know that?
There will be no live stream, but I believe the talk will be recorded. Should you be one of those unfortunate people who are not in or near Seattle, you will be able to watch it at some later point.