In praise of Hans Rosling

Don’t worry, you’re not expected to know who Hans Rosling is. In fact, I don’t know a great deal about him — but what I have seen is truly inspirational. This is a series about great storytellers (c.f. Intro, #1, #2, #3), so I imagine you will laugh when I say this: Hans Rosling is a statistician. 

I work with stats and geographic information systems (GIS, i.e. computerised mapping) and spend a lot of time figuring out how to communicate statistics meaningfully to a non-expert audience. I think a lot about data visualisation.  If I ever acquire the ability to turn statistics into the kinds of stories that Hans Rosling creates I will be a happy woman*. 

He is a miracle worker at using statistics to make sense of (and problematise) commonly articulated narratives about global development. If you have the time, I highly recommend watching the video below (or see another one here). And, thrillingly, you can play with his data visualisation engine here.

So … lies, damned lies, and beautiful stories.

*Note: Chris isn’t the only one who posts here. I do too.

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