Professional Learning

Brown Bag Seminar: Visualizing data without perpetuating inequality (Online 8 June 2023)

Brown Bag Seminar: Visualizing data without perpetuating inequality (Online 8 June 2023)

Visualizing data without perpetuating inequality

Date and time: Thursday 8 June 2023, 12.00 - 1.00pm AEST
Topic: Visualizing data without perpetuating inequality
Presenter: Eli Holder, 3iap 
Venue: Via Zoom. Details will be emailed to registrants just prior to the start time
Register online by: Wednesday 7 June 2023

Event overview

How do we visualize inequality without promoting it? How can we communicate social outcomes in ways that inspire positive change?

When data represents groups of people, it’s inescapably interpreted through the audience’s prior knowledge, assumptions, biases and stereotypes about the groups being visualized. This makes visualizing social data unique from other topics. It also means that common visualization techniques that are safe in other domains can be harmful when visualizing data about people from minoritized communities.

Eli's recent peer-reviewed study shows how certain popular data visualizations, meant to raise awareness of social disparities, may actually backfire and reinforce them, by encouraging harmful stereotypes about the people being visualized. This session builds on Eli's research to help practitioners apply his findings and produce more equitable social-data visualizations. After the session, attendees should be able to:
(1) Identify and articulate the hidden biases pervasive in charts and graphs covering social outcome disparities.
(2) Develop intuition for the surprising ways that social psychology can influence audiences’ perceptions of information.
(3) Learn alternative design approaches to effectively present equity-focused dataviz in ways that create awareness and inspire change, while mitigating harmful stereotypes about the people being visualized.

Presenter details

Eli Holder is a data designer, researcher, and founder of 3iap, a data visualization design practice. 3iap (3 is a pattern) specializes in psychologically effective information design, approachable analytics, and developing human-centered data products.

Eli's research and writing focus on the intersection of social psychology and visualization design, looking at ways that data can both reflect and influence people's attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors (e.g., how visualizing social inequality can reinforce inequality). Eli is a former startup founder (Unblab, acquired by AOL,, Nodd) and product leader (Noom, Chartbeat, PwC, StreetLinx). He graduated with a B.S. in computer science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he studied board game AI and built 3D-visualizations for microscopes.

This is a special event organised by the Multicultural Evaluation Special Interest Group (MESIG). AES free events provide an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in the evaluation community and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Eli has kindly agreed to talk to the AES membership on this topic at our request. He will be joining from the US.

If this seminar will be recorded, it will be available on the AES YouTube channel approximately four weeks after the date. We suggest you subscribe to the AES YouTube channel to be notified when new recordings are added. 

Seminar start times

  • VIC, NSW, ACT, TAS, QLD: 12.00pm

  • SA, NT: 11.30am

  • WA: 10.00am

  • New Zealand: 2.00pm

For other time zones please go to

Please ensure you have access to your email address just prior to the start time to access Zoom details. Please also check your email address is correct on your registration form before submitting. Thanks.

Event Information

Event Date 08 Jun 2023 12:00pm
Event End Date 08 Jun 2023 1:00pm
Cut Off Date 07 Jun 2023 12:00pm
Location Zoom
Categories Special Online Event

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