Truth, beauty, and data revisited

Content for Monday, June 1, 2020


Questions to reflect on

  • Why are stories so powerful?
  • How are stories related to truth?
  • Is it ethical to emphasize certain aspects of the facts in data more than others? How do you decide which facts to use to convince audiences?
  • When you’re telling a story about data, you’re inherently manipulating audience emotions. Is that okay?


The slides for today’s lesson are available online as an HTML file. Use the buttons below to open the slides either as an interactive website or as a static PDF (for printing or storing for later). You can also click in the slides below and navigate through them with your left and right arrow keys.

View all slides in new window Download PDF of all slides

Fun fact: If you type ? (or shift + /) while going through the slides, you can see a list of special slide-specific commands.


Videos for each section of the lecture are available at this YouTube playlist.

You can also watch the playlist (and skip around to different sections) here:

  1. Alberto Cairo, The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (Berkeley, California: New Riders, 2016).↩︎

  2. Claus E. Wilke, Fundamentals of Data Visualization (Sebastopol, California: O’Reilly Media, 2018),↩︎