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Tom West

The notion that science shoudl be subject to popularity contests is absurb. Science is essentialyl the art of making falsiable predictions based on availabel evidence. Public opnion doesn't chnage the evidence, nor whether or not the prediction is correct.

Tom West

Off-topic, but BBC News seems to like your bump charts: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8696690.stm

Hadley Wickham

If you are worried about the level of statistical expertise in Infovis and SIG-CHI papers, sign up to be a reviewer. There are a lot of papers and few reviewers with statistics expertise.

Tom Hopper

Briefly skimming the paper, I think the results have nothing to do with chart-junk or Tufte-style charts. The authors were evaluating the viability of using crowdsourcing (Mechanical Turk) as a replacement for lab studies. To validate the use of crowdsourcing, they reproduced some previous lab studies and compared the results. There is really nothing new to be learned from this work about chart style, but there are some interesting insights on the use of Mechanical Turk for this sort of research.

I think that the author's analyses of the experiments are rather off-topic. The authors spend much more page space discussing the results of individual experiments than on comparing the correlation between their Mechanical Turk experiments and the past published work.

Nick Cox

I've just seen this quotation of my comment on Andrew Gelman's blog. You do admit that you paraphrase, but that paraphrase turned my stance around almost completely.

Don't statistically minded people ever resort to irony? What kinds of graphics people prefer is worth attention, but I don't advocate a popularity contest to decide what's best.

I agree broadly with Tom West's first comment. In fact, I've published marginally within climate science, so the irony is on me too.

I also underline Hadley Wickham's signal that there seems a big gap between best statistical practice and much information visualization work. That's why I found it dismaying that the paper in question was apparently lauded in its own community.


Nick: I'm sorry to have missed the irony, and I'm glad we agree!

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Kaiser Fung. Business analytics and data visualization expert. Author and Speaker.
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