Alberto Cairo – How Charts Lie

The A+D IDV Program and the School of Journalism invite you to attend Alberto Cairo’s talk:


How Charts Lie
— Getting Smarter about Visual Information

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Charts, infographics, and diagrams are ubiquitous. They are useful because they can reveal patterns and trends hidden behind the numbers we encounter in our lives. Good charts make us smarter—if we know how to read them. However, they can also deceive us. Charts lie in a variety of ways—displaying incomplete or inaccurate data, suggesting misleading patterns, and concealing uncertainty— or are frequently misunderstood. Many of us are ill-equipped to interpret the visuals that politicians, journalists, advertisers, and even our employers present each day. We need to learn to not only spot the lies in deceptive visuals, but also to take advantage of good ones. In this talk, Alberto Cairo demystifies an essential new literacy, one that will make us better equipped to navigate our data-driven world.




Alberto Cairo is a journalist and designer, and the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication of the University of Miami (UM). He is also the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science. He has been head of information graphics at media publications in Spain and Brazil. The author of several books such as ‘How Charts Lie’ (2019) and ‘The Truthful Art; (2016), Cairo currently consults with companies and institutions like Google, and has provided visualization training to the European Union, Eurostat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Army National Guard, and many others. He lives in Miami, Florida.


Special thanks to IDV student Yue Zhang who worked on the poster for this talk.




lecture Details

October 17, 2019
7:00 pm
102 ISEC – Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex
805 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02120