The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Session: Communicate your scholarship effectively: we share, we write, but are we understood?

18th April 2016

Co-chairs: Bruno Paschoal and Mercè Crosas

The session will explore, from different perspectives, what researchers could do to communicate more effectively to a broader audience:

The Curse of Knowledge: Why We Communicate Badly (In Any Medium)

Steven Pinker

Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Why is so much communication so ineffective? Do people communicate badly on purpose, to bamboozle their readers with highfalutin gobbledygook? Is communication being corrupted by texting and social media? I argue that in fact the chief impediment to clarity is a psychological phenomenon called the Curse of Knowledge—the difficulty we all have in imagining what it’s like not to know something we know.

From Bits to Narratives: The Rapid Evolution of Data Visualization Engines

Cesar A. Hidalgo

Associate Professor, The MIT Media Lab, MIT

No matter whether you are a public sector leader, a private sector executive, or an scholar; your ability to transform data into narratives is probably central to your work. But transforming data into narratives is not easy, not only because crafting an empirically valid story is challenging, but also because the tools available to visualize and analyze data are based on outdated design paradigms that require users to spend vast amounts of time on tasks that can now be automated. In this presentation I will demo a series of data visualization engines that we have created in my group at MIT that help speed up our ability to transform data into narratives.


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