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Scientists Use Climate Change to Improve Data Comprehension

Researchers from University of East Anglia (UEA) have produced new guidelines aimed at improving the communication and understanding of scientific data - using knowledge of how the human brain processes visual and written information.

Drawing on cognitive and psychological sciences and using climate change data as an example, the team looked at how scientists and other communicators can increase the accessibility of graphics used to present information, while maintaining scientific accuracy and rigor.

Scientific information is one factor that can influence decision-making to achieve change, and visualisation of data through graphics - such as graphs, diagrams and thematic maps - plays an important role in the communication of climate change findings to both expert and non-specialist audiences.

However, graphics created for scientific assessments published by bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been criticised for being inaccessible to non-experts.

John Cooper

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