Data visualisation paper by Professor Helen Kennedy is top scoring on White Rose Research Online

Image of Helen KennedyA paper co-authored by Professor Helen Kennedy is officially the top scoring paper on the White Rose Research Online repository in 2017-18.

Helen’s paper, The Feeling of Numbers: emotions in everyday engagements with data and their visualisation, co-authored with Dr Rosemary Lucy Hill from the University of Leeds, highlights the role that emotions play in engagements with data and their visualisation.

To date, the relationship between data and emotions has rarely been noted, in part because data studies have not attended to everyday engagements with data. The authors of the paper draw on an empirical study to show a wide range of emotional engagements with diverse aspects of data and their visualisation, and so demonstrate the importance of emotions as vital components of making sense of data.

The authors nuance the argument that regimes of datafication, in which numbers, metrics and statistics dominate, are characterised by a renewed faith in objectivity and rationality, arguing that in datafied times, it is not only numbers but also the feeling of numbers that is important.

White Rose Research Online is a shared, open access repository that contains a growing collection of research outputs from across all the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. The paper can be accessed here.