David McCandless to give Distinguished Gates Lecture

  • March 4, 2011
David McCandless to give Distinguished Gates Lecture

Data journalist will talk about understanding data through visualisation.

Data-journalist and infographics designer David McCandless will deliver a Gates Distinguished Lecture next week on how visualising data can help us to find interesting patterns and connections.

McCandless’ lecture will take place on 8 March. He has pioneered novel methods to visualise the intricacies hidden within convoluted datasets, including complex political statistics, information about climate change and trends in pop music and contemporary lifestyle. “It feels like we’re all suffering from information overload, or data glut,” he says. “The good news is that there is a solution to that: using our eyes more.”

In his new book, Information is Beautiful (or The Visual Miscellaneum in the United States), McCandless constructs ‘information landscapes’ that deconstruct subjects such as swine flu, the US and UK political system, and scientific evidence for health supplements. He says: “Visualising information [helps reveal] the patterns and connections that matter […] so that [data] makes more sense, or tells a story, or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important.”

“McCandless’ work is both captivating and visually interactive,” says Nathan Benaich, External Officer of the Gates Scholars Council and organiser of the Distinguished Lecture Series. “His contributions to over 40 publications worldwide, including The Guardian and Wired magazine, extract new knowledge and unravel insights into data in a user-friendly fashion that is accessible to all.” Examples of McCandless’ published information visualisations can be found on his personal blog, InformationIsBeautiful.net.

The Lecture, which is open to all members of the University and their guests, begins at 6:30PM (GMT) on 8 March (Tuesday) in the Cripps Court Auditorium of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

Latest News

Tracing the origins of our political beliefs

What makes some people more vulnerable to extremism than others? How do we build cognitive resilience against extreme ideologies? And how does the brain react to misinformation on social media? These are some of the key political questions that political neuroscientist Leor Zmigrod [2016] is exploring, putting the science into our understanding of radicalisation.   Leor […]

A leading woman in STEAM

A Gates Cambridge Scholar has been selected as one of the 75 leading women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in India. Yama Dixit will feature in the second edition of the book She Is, published by the Red Dot Foundation in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India to mark 75 […]

Tackling the obesity epidemic in Africa

When she left school, Paula-Peace James-Okoro [2022] intended to become a medical doctor, but after starting a degree in Biochemistry she discovered a passion for the subject and for using it to address one of the major health challenges facing Africa – obesity. She says: “In Africa, the rates of metabolic diseases, like obesity and […]

Triple win for Bill Gates Sr. Prize

For the first time three Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing this year’s Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Kim van Daalen, Reetika Subramanian and Cynthia Okoye have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late […]