Monday, September 19, 2011

B - Communicating uncertainties visually

Spiegelhalter D, Pearson M, Short I. Visualizing uncertainty about the future. Science 2011;333(6048):1393-1400
(doi: 10.1126/science.1191181)

Explanation of uncertainties presents a serious challenge, particularly to an audience with a wide range of scientific and mathematical expertise. In this review current practice for communicating uncertainties by means of graphic visualizations are examined, using examples drawn from sport, weather, climate, health, economics, and politics. The most suitable choice of visualization to illustrate uncertainty depends closely on the objectives of the presenter, the context of communication, and the audience. Useful recommendations are provided, although careful case studies are needed describing the development and evaluation of specific examples in a wide range of contexts.

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