"The very best [infographics] engender and facilitate an insight by visual means — allow us to grasp some relationship quickly and easily that otherwise would take many pages and illustrations and tables to convey. Insight seems to happen most often when data sets are crossed in the design of the piece — when we can quickly see the effects on something over time, for example, or view how factors like income, race, geography, or diet might affect other data. When that happens, there’s an instant “Aha!”…"  - David Byrne via Brainpickings

"The very best [infographics] engender and facilitate an insight by visual means — allow us to grasp some relationship quickly and easily that otherwise would take many pages and illustrations and tables to convey. Insight seems to happen most often when data sets are crossed in the design of the piece — when we can quickly see the effects on something over time, for example, or view how factors like income, race, geography, or diet might affect other data. When that happens, there’s an instant “Aha!”…"  - David Byrne via Brainpickings

Designing visual systems to make sense of complex data. Figuring out how community health workers can be more effective using mobile tools. Studying human moral judgement through the lens of cognitive and neural mechanisms. 

See what else the 2013 PopTech Science Fellows are up to.

PopTech and the Rockefeller Foundation are proud to announce the call for nominations for a unique joint Fellows program focused on unconventional collaboration.

The Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program will bring together four to six individuals from diverse backgrounds for a two-week immersion residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s renowned Bellagio Center on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.

This year’s program will focus on building community resilience through the use of data science, visualization, and distributed information technologies. Fellows will explore the extent to which big data and related technology can be used to enhance psychological, social and systemic resilience worldwide. This effort will be creative, interdisciplinary and collaborative – providing an environment where emerging tools, approaches and solutions are viewed as an art as much as a science.

The program is seeking candidates from the fields of data and data visualization, technology, design, art, social and natural sciences, resilience research, and other social domains. A diverse cohort of Fellows will be chosen for their technical and creative excellence and their demonstrated ability to work and think across disciplines.

Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Eligibility details are available on the call for nominations web page.

Know someone who might be a good fit? Nominations will be accepted through March 1, 2013, and can be submitted via the online nomination form

“I come here today because I am excited about data, but also because I am terrified. I am terrified that we are having progress without culture in the world of data.”

Jer Thorpwho has launched The Office For Creative Research, explores the boundaries between science, data, art, and culture. His work has appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. 

“If you look across the globe, there are severe inequalities in how people access and use finance.”

As director of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative at Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action, Aishwarya Ratan’s goal is to ensure that the financial products, services and tools available to the poor to manage and grow their money are affordable, efficient, secure and welfare-enhancing. 

The stereotype of conservationists is a cartoon: guys in Birkenstocks and beards who want to go live in a cabin in the forest by themselves. (Laughs.) We need those people to get data in the wild. But we also need people who live in cities and thrive on technologies to be conservationists.
After finishing the project, Smolan became such a convert that he argues that “big data will have a bigger effect on humanity than the Internet” because knowing so much more about the world via data lets us anticipate and potentially solve problems. “It’s like watching the planet wake up,” he said.

Data isn’t just the new oil, it’s the new money. Ask Zoë Keating

People love to call data the new oil, but that might be selling it short. It’s only oil when we’re talking about pools of unrefined data like the stuff web companies collect, which has to be processed and transformed into something useful. There are certain types of data, though — especially data about consumers — that are as good as money in the bank without any work at all. And if you don’t believe me, ask popular cellist Zoë Keating.

As a bill attempting to lower the royalty rates paid to artists by streaming music services such as Pandora works its way through Congress, Keating took to her Tumblr blog last week and offered a solution that both sides should listen to, but won’t. You might have read about her stance in Billboard or ITworld already, or perhaps on Slashdot. If you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell, from Keating’s blog: “The law only demands I be paid in money, which at this point in my career is not as valuable as information. I’d rather be paid in data.”

Cellist Zoë Keating (PopTech 2009) uses a cello and a small box of electronics to create a one-woman avant-garde orchestra. 

Visualization Vids: Moving Data Make Marvelous Movies

Here’s my advice to you and your tech company: hire an artist.
Jer Thorp