Alberto Cairo is a journalist and designer, and the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication of the University of Miami (UM). He is also the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science. He has been head of information graphics at media publications in Spain and Brazil.
The author of several textbooks, Cairo currently consults with companies and institutions like Google and the Congressional Budget Office, and has provided visualization training to the European Union, Eurostat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Army National Guard, and many others. He lives in Miami, Florida.
October 30th, 2019 | 45 mins
My guest is Alberto Cairo. His new book is "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information." In it this leading data visualization expert explores the negative―and positive―influences that charts have on our perception of truth. We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and reason; the flashy visuals are both appealing and persuasive. Pie charts, maps, bar and line graphs, and scatter plots (to name a few) can better inform us, revealing patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. In short, good charts make us smarter―if we know how to read them.