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This is an illustration of a gavel, with a bar chart embedded inside.

Data Visualization in the Courtroom

Edward Tufte pulled me onto the effective data communication bandwagon circa 2007, in one of his data visualization workshops. This was one of the visualizations that Tufte highlighted: Tufte said that he had read about a single chart that had…

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This is an image of a nametag that says Hello! I'm a scientist.

Social Science IS Science!

I recently had virtual visits with two 10th-grade biology classes. This prompted some reminiscing about my own time in high school. Back then, I never would’ve guessed that I’d be a scientist one day. The main reason? I didn’t (and…

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This is a vertical bar graph. The axes are dotted white lines, and the bars are unfilled and outlined in dotted lines.

Not All Data Need to be Visualized

Sometimes, Data Soapbox (i.e., me) provides pro bono assistance to members of our “support team” (in this post, my husband). Last week, my engineer spouse asked for input on the best way to visualize a boatload (technical term) of data…

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This is an image of the Data Soapbox icon embossed in turquoise leather.

Why Your Research Project (or Lab) Needs a Brand Guide

“Branding” dates back thousands of years, to when people first burned identifying marks of ownership on the rumps of their livestock.* In modern times, branding generally refers to the identifying elements of companies, schools, individuals, and causes. Apple has its…

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This is the Data Soapbox logo made of round, fused Perler beads. There is a black speech bubble surrounding a vertical bar graph with ascending orange, green, and teal bars.

The Art of Data

In these pandemic times, like many people, I'm spending a lot less money on things like clothes, gas, and outings with family and friends. But you wanna know what I'm spending more money on? Arts and crafts supplies. Some of…

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This image says "Try DIY" (with a t-shirt image) "or Go with a Pro" (with a suit jacket image).

Research Communication: Should I Try to DIY?

My husband and I have been homeowners for a little more than a decade now. At the beginning, we tried to do many projects ourselves. Sometimes it went fine. Paint a small, square room? Fine. Repaint that same room a…

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This is a photogarph of nine objects: a roll of colored pencils, a t-shirt that says "trend setter" with a bar graph, a quilting ruler, a planner, a mouse and mousepad, an "I heart PSU" sticker, a calculator, graph paper and markers, and a letter board that reads "The brain doesn't pay attention to boring things. J. Medina." "Lori Palen" is written at the top of the photo. "Science meets Design" is written at the bottom of the photo.

School’s Out for Summer (Forever?)

When I finished by PhD in 2008, I'm pretty sure that I swore off being a student for the rest of my life. Flash forward to a couple of years ago, when I was starting to conceptualize Data Soapbox. I…

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This is a frame with three icons: an eye, a heart, and a duck paired with a leaf.

A Tribute to Icons

I love many people and things. My family and friends. The smell of new crayons. Cadbury Cream Eggs. Oh, and icons. I *love* a good icon:     Why do I love icons? Let me count the ways… 1. Icons…

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PowerPoint slide reading "6 Interesting Ways to Visualize a Percentage."

Showing Simple Statistics: Percentages

I don’t know about you, but I’m desperately dreaming about a post-pandemic escape. I have decided that, once in-person gatherings are safe again, I’m renting this amazing lake house outside of Charlotte where friends and I stayed for my 40th…

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