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Data is beautiful: outstanding data visualisations recognised at University Research Institute event

Royal Society Research Fellow Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo, collecting the award on behalf of Nathan Chrismas with Pro Vice-Chancellor Nishan Canagarajah.

Runner up Oliver Davis with Pro Vice-Chancellor Nishan Canagarajah.

Runner up Kate Oliver with Pro Vice-Chancellor Nishan Canagarajah.

3 March 2017

The Jean Golding Institute’s Data is Beautiful competition showcased the best data visualisations at the University.

Over 30 submissions were received by the Institute and winners were announced at an event to present the new University research institute to academic and research colleagues on 23 February.

Nathan Chrismas, PhD Student in Geographical Sciences took the top prize for 'Tracing cyanobacteria’s tree of life in Earth’s extreme environments'.

Oliver Davis, Dynamic Genetics Lab, MRC IEU, School of Social and Community Medicine was a runner up for his work on ‘How much our genome affects us depends on where we grow up’, as was PhD Student Kate Oliver for her submission ‘How far can an awn take you? Morphing in nature and beyond'.

Professor William Browne, Director of the Jean Golding Institute said: “One of the key challenges with data-intensive research is how to present the data in a way that makes it engaging, concise, useful and insightful to those outside of the project.

“As researchers we take data from a vast number of sources, in various forms and of differing value to the overall research. Visualisations of that data – in the form of intricate designs, infographics and diagrams can make the complex easy to understand.”

Data visualisation will be a key part of communicating the work of the Institute which is to increase understanding and enhance research through data expertise.

The Institute – one of four at University of Bristol – will build a cohesive community across the University, showcase world-leading research, help and advise the community in data-intensive research and provide new learning opportunities for staff, students and the wider community.

The Institute’s namesake, Emeritus Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, Jean Golding was a special guest at the event where she shared her experience of the changing landscape of data collection, analysis and application throughout her esteemed career.

Founder of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) – the ground breaking study commonly known as Children of the 90s – she recruited more than 14,000 pregnant women between 1991 and 1992 and has studied them, their partners and the children born of those pregnancies for the past two decades.

Professor Golding’s cohort study is one of the most detailed in the world and a great example of data-intensive research. The results of this ambitious project have steered our generation’s understanding of the environmental and genetic factors that affect a person’s health and development. There was no better person to lend their name to the Institute which aims to enhance research and its impact on the world through data expertise.

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