Why should I stay in Academia? Bridging Generations of Researchers in Visualization

Tuesday, October 27: 12:00pm-1:30pm MDT

Organizers: Renata G. Raidou (University of Groningen), Ingrid Hotz (Linköping University)
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The question “(Why) should I stay in academia?” emerges often in the minds of researchers and in discussions in our community. In general, junior researchers might be more affected, but this is a choice that all levels of academic seniority face. Our panel targets an open discussion on the active choice of “staying or leaving” and its reasons, on the positives and negatives of both possible paths (academia vs. industry), and on how we, as a community, can foster a healthier environment to support and equip our members—whether they decide to stay in academia, or not. Our choice of panelists (Silvia Miksch, Johanna Beyer, Chuck Hansen, Jan Reininghaus, Bei Wang, and Jack van Wijk) pays attention to the inclusion of researchers from different academic ages and with different paths, to reflect different career and life challenges. We have ensured gender balance among our panelists, as female researchers often face different (and additional) challenges, and we have included a panelist from industry, to represent both sides of the coin. We anticipate that our panel will engage a large group of researchers at different career stages in a lively discussion to shape our community. To engage the audience and involve them as much as possible into the discussion, the panel will feature an additional anonymous platform, where everyone can freely ask questions and provide suggestions for discussion—before, during, and after the event. For more details and announcements, visit this link:

The role of vis and data researchers during a public health crisis

Thursday, October 29: 12:00pm-1:30pm MDT

Organizers: Arvind Satyanarayan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Carlos Scheidegger (University of Arizona)

We in the field like to think of visualization and data analysis as an unconditional good: a tool that enables clarity, communicates truth, and facilitates understanding. It stands to reason, then, that in a public health crisis such as the one we are going through, visualization and data researchers should be a part of the solution. But can we, and should we? What are the risks? Does the self-image of the field hold up with the current existing sociopolitical context?

In this panel, we will bring top researchers in visualization and data management to discuss how—and whether—visualization and data researchers can build effective solutions for urgent public health problems.

Visualization for Social Good

Friday, October 30: 10:00am-11:30am MDT

Organizers: Leilani Battle (University of Maryland), Michelle A. Borkin (Northeastern University), Michael Correll (Tableau Software), Lane Harrison (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Evan Peck (Bucknell University)
Panelists: Catherine D’Ignazio (Tufts University), Ronald Metoyer (University of Notre Dame), Michelle Borkin (Northeastern University), Evan Peck (Bucknell University)
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After reflection on the Visualization for Social Good tutorial at IEEE VIS 2019, we noticed a perception that work using the power of visualization to further the public good was under-studied or otherwise not part of the main VIS conference. At the same time, there is a growing “techlash” that highlights the potential of data science (and data visualization) as tools for reinforcing structures of inequality and injustice. We envision this panel to function as a way of airing these competing viewpoints and providing guidance on how the visualization community should use their power and responsibilities in the world. As such, we have centered our panelists’ statements around response to a single question:

What role (if any) should data visualization play in effecting positive change in the world?

For panelist statements, bios, and other information, please visit: