by Infogram
Create infographics

An invitation, a column

Visualizing Science, our new column with thoughts on mathematics and science communication

November 22, 2012

My contribution to Visual Loop by writing a column came from an invitation by Tiago Veloso.

Collaborating in a reference blog such as Visual Loop turns out to be a great challenge, specially because the main theme suggested to the column embraced many subjects.

The task turned even more difficult because I have very diverse interests, which include science, technology, data visualization, as well as art, photography and games. Since it was a difficult choice, I picked the area I graduated in and the area I study: mathematics and science communication.

In the last years the studying of science communication has alerted me to the importance of not only generating knowledge in these areas, but also on taking it effectively to the general public. I believe that a clear and engaging communication about the investment on science research promotes a more active citizenship and more conscious decisions.

An interesting example is the e-Patient project, on which patients, by means of technology, search for answers to their problems, restructure the patient-doctor relationship and communication (that until now has been an “up-down” one) and promote communication nets between patients suffering from the same disease, so that they can exchange information and discuss their problems. You can see the TED talk about this project here:

Besides science communication, I’ve been lately particularly interested in the power images have on the communication process. An era of fast information consumption we live in, what best way can we find to absorb the most information amount at the shortest time than through images?

We are aware of the growing investment on more and more sophisticated visualization techniques, which allow us to make visual sense of increasingly complex data sets. We can take for example the “Wind Map” project. An art project based on surface wind data from North America.

Wind Map
Screen capture of the Wind Map project


Summing up, from my studies on science communication (including math) and being interested in the present, likely to go on, trend of the growing visual consumption, I begin the “Visualizing Science” column.

I hope you will enjoy it!

Written by Susana Pereira

Susana Simões Pereira, maths teacher and PhD in science teaching and communication. I enjoy games and photography and I'm passionate for science and art, specially when together in the same context. You can follow my updates on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.