Risks of dying, visualised

The graph at this Wired blog post is a really interesting example of an engaging visualisation of data acquired over time.

The author’s description is fairly easy to follow, but it basically draws from data publicly available in the US, to show the numbers of men expected to die per 1000 from various causes (mostly acquired diseases) depending on 2 things: when they were born and whether they smoke.

This allows comparisons across a number of age groups and also within a group. The data cuts out just before my birth-year, but it was interesting to get a sense of the trend.

The presentation of data is an important skill to learn as a scientist; increasingly, we need to be able to quickly and concisely distil the main message out and present it to an audience in a way that grabs attention and avoids confusion.

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