A conversation with the creators of ‘People of the Pandemic,’ Shirley Wu and Stephen Osserman

When the last pandemic was 102 years ago, how would you explain to people that their actions have consequences? Would you make an interactive game? Would it be crass to even call it a game? With something so pressing and all-encompassing in the news, it seemed obvious to build some form of explainer of COVID-19, but this very notion was fraught with the challenge of creating an educational piece on a virus which many leading medical researchers do not fully understand.

These questions plagued Shirley Wu and Stephen Osserman as they created People of the Pandemic, a new pandemic simulator showcasing how the choices you make during a pandemic can affect your entire community. …

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An interview with the Sunrise Movement’s data and design teams about harnessing data visualization to advocate for just climate policy

Welcome to Earth Week on Nightingale, the journal of the Data Visualization Society. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we are publishing earth-related data-visualization content all week. Data viz can enhance our appreciation of the planet, illuminate our relationship to it, and call us to action to preserve it. After all, we only have one and it means the world to us. You can keep up with all of our Earth Week articles here.

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The Sunrise Movement is a Political Action Committee comprised of young individuals with the goal to make climate change an urgent priority for lawmakers. The group is making youth voices from around the country heard and changing public opinion — one graphic and data visualization at a time. As a part of our week of coverage celebrating Earth Day, we interviewed members of their data and design teams to learn more about the role of data in the movement, their design process, and how their work has changed over time. …

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A research team from Northwestern University testing self-sanitizing masks recently received a $200,000 Rapid Response Research grant to continue its research after the National Science Foundation decided it could be beneficial in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The innovation could be used by medical professionals, but the team’s goal is for it to be used by people who are sick, making them less infectious to those around them by sanitizing any passing droplets.

Rapid Response Research grants are used for proposals which urgently need access to facilities or specialized equipment in unanticipated natural events. The project likely received the research funding as COVID-19 is easily transmitted through coughs and sneezes and this project is seen as a potential solution to protect healthcare workers and the general populace from infection. …


Madison Hall

Data journalist and visualization enthusiast @byMadisonhall on Twitter

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