News and Outputs

PAPER – Information visualization in science and policy – engaging users & communicating bias.

McInerny, G J, Chen, M, Freeman, R, Gavaghan, D, Meyer, M, Rowland, F, Spiegelhalter, D. J, Stefaner, M, Tessarolo, G, & Hortal, J. (in review). Information visualization in science and policy – engaging users & communicating bias. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 29. 148-157. DOI : 10.1016/j.tree.2014.01.003

After this related event some participants developed this paper that has now been published in TREE.

Click to access vis-for-science-and-policy.pdf

Visualisations and graphics are fundamental to studying complex subject matter. However, beyond acknowledging
this value, scientists and science-policy programmes rarely consider how visualisations can
enable discovery, create engaging and robust reporting, or support online resources. Producing accessible and
unbiased visualisations from complicated, uncertain data requires expertise and knowledge from science,
policy, computing, and design. However, visualisation is rarely found in our scientific training, organisations, or
collaborations. As new policy programmes develop [e.g., the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem
Services (IPBES)], we need information visualisation to permeate increasingly both the work of
scientists and science policy. The alternative is increased potential for missed discoveries, miscommunications,
and, at worst, creating a bias towards the research that is easiest to display.


Data visualization for science: the next frontier? – Blog Post on Future Earth

Owen Gaffney (IGBP) & Denise Young (ICSU) discuss how data visualization offers the potential to inspire new audiences for science, yet the research and design communities are finding it hard to work together.


NERC advanced training short course – Introduction to Data Visualisation

FEB 2015 – more details to follow…

In collaboration with the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford (, Greg McInerny , Min Chen, Jason Dykes and Moritz Stefaner are organising a 4 day course.

This NERC funded ATSC ( will support ~20 students.

Day 1 will develop an understanding of foundational concepts in designing the display of quantitative information and familiarity with the Processing environment. Day 2 will explore how visualisations combine with techniques in data analysis (visual analytics) within a pipeline of information exploration, analysis and interrogation.  Day 3 will build upon these foundational concepts and skills to address advanced topics in interactive visualisations, visualising uncertainty and geo-spatial visualisation. Day 4 will develop understanding and skills for design evaluation, iteration and refinement in order to select the right visual encodings and diagram types, and to incorporate meta data and annotations.Days 1-4 will include dedicated time to developing a personal project, with the participants own data alongside the core teaching components.


Tutorial at UX Cambridge – Visualization in UX | UX in Visualization

Paual De Matos and Jason Dykes are running this tutorial at UX Cambridge 14 ( where they  will “bring together complementary techniques and processes from both UX and visualization to enhance the user experience.

At the end of the tutorial you should come away with an understanding of what visualization can offer the user experience and perhaps an ability think more visually when developing and applying design solutions.

Booking for the UX Cambridge conference is open at


Panel at IEEE VIS – Data With a Cause: Visualisation for Policy Change

Moritz Stefaner is heading up this panel session with speakers from the World Bank, WEF (World Economic Forum) and OECD  (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and  Greg McInerny talking about bringing visualisation into Science-Policy interfaces for biodiversity.

Booking is open at