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Visual Trumpery: How Charts Lie and How They Make Us Smarter

The English word “trumpery” means worthless nonsense, something that is showy and deceitful at the same time. Trumpery can occur in text, verbally, or visually. This non-partisan talk focuses on the visual, examining misleading charts, graphs, and data maps designed by individuals and organizations from all over the political spectrum.

Prominent visualization specialist Alberto Cairo will share the most effective ways to use graphs, charts, maps and infographics to enable a more comprehensive and informative message to your audience.  Aimed at a broad audience, Cairo’s presentation attempts to help build a literate citizenry, which he believes is the best antidote for nonsense.

This seminar is sponsored by the Office of Research and Engagement.

Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami. He’s also the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science. He has been a director of infographics and multimedia at news publications in Spain (El Mundo, 2000-2005) and Brazil (Editora Globo, 2010-2012,) and a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He’s the author of the books The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (2012) and The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication.

Friday, February 22 at 10:00am to 12:00pm

John C Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium
1015 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville TN

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations


Communication & Information


Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


Office of Research and Engagement



Contact Name

Jennifer Brown

Contact Email

Contact Phone

(865) 974-6765

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