1. National Academies 2011 Communications Fair - Session 1

    There’s a tendency for the eyes to glaze over when confronted with a dense spreadsheet full of numbers. The trick is finding a way for all that valuable information to express a meaningful story that people can quickly and easily grasp. When done right, a carefully rendered graphic can immediately engage a viewer and communicate complex ideas at a glance. Important takeaways hidden among the lines of a whole spreadsheet (indeed, multiple spreadsheets) can become clear in a fraction of the time it would require to visually analyze the raw data. This panel of data visualization experts will explore the ways in which complex conclusions can be communicated using graphs, charts, and other visual representations.
    The mix of panelists reflects the many ways in which data can be expressed. Their expertise is directly relevant to the ways in which our work can be communicated to our audiences.

    Panelists:
    Chris Brown – Fathom Information Design
    Drew Banks – Prezi
    Scott Glikeson – The State of the USA
    Julie Steele – O’Reilly Media
    Jer Thorp – The New York Times
    Moderated by Christopher Hoenig, senior adviser to the presidents of the National Academies and president and chief executive officer, The State of the USA

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  2. National Academies 2011 Communications Fair - Session 2

    Storytelling is a powerful and compelling way to communicate complex but important ideas to diverse audiences, transforming a collection of facts and figures into a clear, meaningful experience. Indeed, it has been said that the universe is made up of stories, not atoms. People simply respond to and remember things better when they are connected by a strong narrative thread that has a well defined sense of beginning, middle, and end. This is especially true when creating science programming for television. Marjorie Kaplan, president of Animal Planet and Science networks, works hard to find stories that will engage audiences on a variety of topics. Learn more about how to apply the storytelling techniques employed by Marjory and her colleagues at Discovery Communications to communicating the work of the National Academies.

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