Science is notoriously complex and data-heavy. For many people this makes science — particularly the scientific literature — predominantly inaccessible. Given that scientists are abstract and conceptual thinkers, it is pretty frustrating to open up your average scientific journal or most popular science books and see only two things: endless words and dry, often-unclear graphs and tables. Given how much can be communicated through graphics, it is a shame that more scientists have not incorporated an infographic approach into their arsenal of explanatory tools.
My students at Pratt Institute — in particular those in the Communications Design program — have shown me the value of information design and data visualization. Using collaborations with students and faculty at Pratt as launching point, I am looking to develop a body of infographic work. This interest relates to my goal of spearheading the creation of an online cooperative resource, and the Easy Prisoner’s Dilemma interface represents one of my first projects with an infographic approach. In the future, I plan on making infographics a critical component of both my educational and research publications.
If you are interested in learning more about infographics and data visualization, some of my favorites sites are Scientific American’s Graphic Science, Information is Beautiful, Visualizing, Good Infographics and Cool Infographics. There is also a good Wikipedia page on “Information Graphics”.