30 April 2015

Link roundup for April 2015

While this blog is mainly about poster sessions, poster sessions happen in the larger context of academic conferences. I love conferences, and part of the reason I write this blog is so that people can have good experiences at those conference sessions. Those good experiences do not include harassment. That’s why this blog post by Timothée Poisot is this month’s must read:

Across all ecologists we surveyed, 37% witnessed harassment, and 24% experienced it, at least once, only taking into account what happens during scientific meetings. This… wow, this is a lot. ...

1 out of 3 people is not an epi-phenomenon.

The post also shows strong support for organizers to be much more active in dealing with harassment. If you’re involved in organizing a conference, there are steps you can take to make them better and more welcoming. Take them.

I’ve often lamented that most posters are designed by amateurs. I have rarely seen a case for using professionals as compelling as this ad, which was a full page in several American newspapers:

It’s an attractive and well designed ad. Except for one thing.

The brain is backwards.

Not being able to get a brain the right way round is not the signal you want to send when you are trying to announce a “new era of discovery in brain research.” There are professionals who do medical illustration stuff for a living. Hire one. (Hat tip to Mo Costandi.)

The bar graph is a standard way of presenting data. A new PLOS Biology paper argues that it’s a bad way regardless of its ubiquity. Hat tip to Gaetan Burgio and Michael Hendricks.

Nevertheless, the humble bar chart is likely to remain a major workhorse for data presentation for a long time. Here is a short list of good tips. Hat tip to Garr Reynolds.

I Want Hue bills itself as a tool for “data scientists.” Its claims:
Distributing colors evenly, in a perceptively coherent space, constrained by user-friendly settings, to generate high quality custom palettes.

Looks interesting. Not sure why the colours jiggle when you make palettes, though. Hat tip to Dean Malmgren and Justin Kiggins.

I’ve always been skeptical when I’ve heard mathematicians and others wax rhapsodic about the “golden ratio.” This article calls it “design’s biggest myth,” and I­’m inclined to agree. But maybe that’s just my confirmation bias. Hat tip to Tommy Leung.

Peter Newbury asked:

Conf poster style question: do you use present tense, as in “results are calculated by...” instead of “results were calculated by”?

This isn’t just a conference poster question, but a general scientific writing question. In general, any methods are in past tense, because you’re describing something that already happened. Results are often in present tense, because the effect you’re describing should be generalizable to past, present, and future situations. To put it another way, we write “E is equal to mc squared,” because it’s always true. You might write “E was equal to mc squared” if it was only true once.

Graphic designer Ellen Lupton has a book coming out in June that was an instant pre-order for me: How Posters Work.

Expect a review as soon as it arrives and I devour it, as I surely will. There is an art exhibit to check out if you’re in the New York area.

Haas Unica is an old typeface that has been made new again. It’s the sort of sans serif workhorse that works well in posters. Hat tip to Timothée Poisot and Genegeek.

Jarrett Fuller ruminates on his love of all sorts of posters, not just academic ones.

Throughout history, you could group posters into three purposes: to inform, to persuade or encourage, and to commemorate. Sometimes it straddles the lines between each of these, but the poster’s purpose must always involve one of them.

Alex Holcombe wants you to know this.

Each word you put on your poster reduces conference-attendee approaches by 0.2%. People need to know my invented statistic.

Now they know, Alex. Now they know.

1 comment:

John Smith said...

Thanks for good articles. Every individual be it a male or a female have the urge to count their sex life in multiples and in turn they want to go for the same activity with different age groups. For those who have the appeal to experience the variegate scenes of sexual inter course can visit xhamster the best teen porntube.