photo of Lulu PinneyLulu Pinney

MA, Social Research, University of Sheffield, 2016-17
HND, Graphic Design, Sheffield College, 2000-02
BA Hons, Natural Sciences (Materials Science and Metallurgy), University of Cambridge, 1993-96

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twitter : @lulupinney

Thesis title / scope of research

"Developing data visualisation literacy"

As the use of data visualisation in many areas of life has increased so too have the calls for a critical awareness of the practice. Data visualisations inform and influence decisions we take, yet they are neither objective nor easy to read. Both of these factors are masked by data visualisations’ seemingly neutral and simple outward appearance. My research aims to describe, understand and develop data visualisation literacy, our ability to make sense of data visualisations both as critical consumers and producers of them.


  • Professor Helen Kennedy (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Alex Hall (University of York)

Other experience / research insterests

I have been designing data visualisations and infographics, in professional practice, for over ten years. For the last five years I have also been running introductory training for those new to the discipline. However, throughout, I have often wondered what people on the receiving end of data visualisations and infographics actually make of them. This has led to a specific interest in working with people who are increasingly required to engage with data, and its visualisation, in everyday life, but find they have little relevant expertise to build on.

The opportunity to research answers to these questions has emerged from the Seeing Data project. My research is one of three PhDs, together forming an ESRC White Rose DTC network, all of which are concerned with how people relate to data through its visualisation, and build on the original Seeing Data research.

My research interests are:

  • Everyday engagements with data visualisation
  • Literacy in the 21st century
  • The relationship between academic research and professional practice

Scholarships and Awards

ESRC White Rose DTC 1+3 Network Scholarship, 2016