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Digital Conversations: Data Visualisation: Is ugly the new smart?

To coincide with the exhibition Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight, a podcast examining the place of beauty within conveying complex information.

The art and science of conveying information visually and beautifully, has long enjoyed an appreciative general audience interested in understanding complex ideas on a range of popular topics. The scholarly audience however, remains largely skeptical of the value of this practice, particularly in academic research publication.

Is the art of encapsulating complex concepts in a beautiful and easily communicable way only useful for a popular audience? Has our academic culture defined an aesthetic for "serious scholarship" which is marked by an emphasis on text and raw data rendered in a drab way? Can academic research leverage design in such a way as to satisfy different audiences seeking knowledge? How might a greater emphasis on visualising information compellingly in scholarly research lead to an acceleration and democratisation of access to knowledge? Should it?

MP3 file, 1 hr 22 mins 42 secs, 33.13 MB