A few weeks ago, I attended an interesting one-day workshop on the responsible and ethical use of data in the data visualization field in New York City. The Responsible Data Forum brought together about 35 people to address issues and topics related to ethics in data visualization. Topics included literacy, transparency, goals, uncertainty, culture and inclusion, and other great, topics.

Partly in response to that forum–and some other discussions going on–I’m happy to be joined by two guests on this week’s episode: Mushon Zer-Aviv from Shual Design Studio, who also hosted the forum, and Kim Rees from Periscopic, whose tagline is “do good with data.” We–Kim and Muson, really–talk about whether data visualizations can elicit empathy, who is responsible for calls to action, and compassion fatigue. Apologies if this week’s episode goes on a little long for your taste; I found the discussion so interesting that we just kept talking.

Please let me know what you think about empathy in data visualization in the comments below or on Twitter. And please rate the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider so that others can learn about the show.



Mushon Zer-Aviv | Shual Design Studio

Kim Rees | Periscopic

Responsible Data Forum

Periscopic’s Gun Deaths Visualization

Engine Room

Data & Society

Jacob Harris | Connecting with the Dots

Popular Science | Hiroshima Visualized

Awesome Twitter discussion on DataViz Empathy

Blog Posts

Mushon | DataViz – The UnEmpathetic Art

Paul Bloom | Against Empathy

Steven Lambert | And What Do I Do Now? Using Data Visualization for Social Change

Jon Schwabish and David McClure | Everyday data aren’t going anywhere, for better and worse


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