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Scientific Storytelling Using Visualization
January/February 2012 (vol. 32 no. 1)
pp. 12-19
Kwan-Liu Ma, University of California, Davis
Isaac Liao, University of California, Davis
Jennifer Frazier, The Exploratorium
Helwig Hauser, University of Bergen
Helen-Nicole Kostis, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Scientists frequently tell stories using visualizations of scientific data, in the process of disseminating findings to peers and the general public. However, techniques and methods for effective scientific storytelling have received little attention so far. This article explores how literary and theatrical narrative conventions can inform the design and presentation of visualizations, and discusses the challenges of adapting scientific visualizations for broader audiences. It also summarizes recent workshops' findings on the role of storytelling in visualizations, and presents several examples of successful scientific-storytelling production teams. The conclusion is that scientific storytelling deserves greater support and recognition by the visualization community.

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Index Terms:
information visualization, scientific visualization, scientific storytelling, storytelling, AniViz, Exploratorium, computer graphics, graphics and multimedia
Citation:
Kwan-Liu Ma, Isaac Liao, Jennifer Frazier, Helwig Hauser, Helen-Nicole Kostis, "Scientific Storytelling Using Visualization," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 12-19, Jan.-Feb. 2012, doi:10.1109/MCG.2012.24
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