Research Uncovered—William Allen on visualizing UK immigration for and with non-academics

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Researchers in the humanities and social sciences increasingly visualize their data and results for non-academic audiences like policymakers, civil society organizations, or journalists. They may do this to foster public engagement, or to generate wider research ‘impact’. But not much is known about what makes an ‘effective’ visualization in the first place—or even if this is possible. Using findings from the Seeing Data project this talk explores socio-cultural factors that affect how people perceive visualizations in general. Then, it draws upon visualization practice and outputs from The Migration Observatory to highlight the ways that visualizations can develop public understanding as well as future research questions.

William L Allen is a Research Officer with the Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS) and The Migration Observatory, both at the University of Oxford. His current research focuses on the interactions among British media and public perceptions about migration. He also has interests in visualisation, the politics of data, and how non-academic groups engage with migration statistics. He tweets from @williamlallen.

Booking: registration is required

If you have a University or Bodleian Reader’s card, you can get to the Centre for Digital Scholarship through the Mackerras Reading Room on the first floor of the Weston Library, around the gallery. If you do not have access to the Weston Library you are more than welcome to attend the talk: please contact Pip Willcox before the event (

You can download a flyer for this talk.