Florence Nightingale’s dedicated war-time nursing practices are well-known. However, her contributions to medicine and research stretch far beyond.
In the mid-1800s, one of the largest causes of soldier mortality came from unsanitary, cramped living quarters, where communicable diseases could spread easily and where wounds festered. Frustrated with her pleas to officials to improve the living conditions, which seemingly fell on deaf ears (pun intended), Nightingale created compelling visual displays of her data to convince her superiors that her requests were not trivial and simple solutions could be immensely beneficial to soldier health.
When data is presented in such a way that is accessible to those not well versed in a particular field, something magical happens. Thoughts and ideas spread to the general population and to those in positions to affect change. Nightingale, and her team of statesmen, statisticians, and scientists effectively created a bridge from scientific writing to the rest of the world. For more on her story check out the article in the link below.
Andrews RJ. (2022) How Florence Nightingale changed data visualization forever. Sci Am 327(2):78-85.
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If you have a dog or cat, you’ve probably seen their ears moving toward an interesting or startling sound. For professional equestrians, watching the ears of their horse allows them to gauge their shifting attention. Humans still have these same muscles, and even more interesting is their relationship to our brain and how we pay attention. …
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