Report HUB22 – Visual perspectives in science

This page includes a short summary of what took place at HUB22 – Visual perspectives in science, together with feedback and reflection on the event from several of the HUB organisers.

Summary of HUB22

This HUB was the second time we’ve tied an unseminar in with the VizBi conference series, using the unseminar as a social event for conference participants, as well as a chance for the local HUB community to meet up with the conference participants.

We were very happy with the turn-out for the event (50 or so), and that it was a good mix of locals and conference participants. It’s always exciting to have some out-of-town speakers at the unseminars, which we had this time through one of the flash talks, and from Jan Aert’s super-quick introduction to ideas associated with data visualisation for science.

We also tried out something new for HUB – a session using improvisational dance, in this case to visualise London Underground station usage data. This was led by local dance teacher and dance therapist Ariane Konrad, who everyone we spoke with greatly enjoyed working with. Hopefully we can find some interesting contexts for some further collaborations with her in the future!

Another highlight was the amazing work done in the dative exercise at the HUB on making a video to visualise London Underground passenger usage data by David Ma and Francis Rowland!

We were also glad to have food and refreshments made available through the support of de.NBI – thanks to them, and all participants of the event!

Feedback from HUB organisers

Laura Howes

If there was one thing I think was clear to me on reflection, a simpler programme has benefits and allows you to concentrate on:

  • delivering what you want well
  • allowing time and effort for issues like diversity
  • reducing stress

In that spirit and as requested… things I liked

  • props on the signage
  • loved trying something new (dance)
  • the numbers and engagement of participants was great

Things to be improved

  • it generally felt a bit rushed (too much on?)
  • all male and pale speakers
  • mismatch between info on web and where we actually went for post HUB-drinks.

That said I agree that Flo did a great job and I’ve heard some very good feedback so I think again it’s a case of making sure that knowing we could do better doesn’t cloud the ability to appreciate what we achieved.



Adam Gristwood

Things I liked:

  • having a choice of activities – the dance routine was awesome.
  • talks – although a bit more visualisation stuff would have been good, eg. more videos.
  • the starting time! Personal preference but was nice not to have to rush out of work early.
  • range of participants – is fantastic to have people who work outside HD at these events.
  • organisation/mcing was great.

Things to do differently:

  • give people opportunity to present what they learnt (dance routine got some time, but would have been great to hear some of the others)
  • calmer programme
  • someone to take responsibility for guiding people to the pub afterwards?
  • check the destination on a bus when responsible for guiding a large group of people across town!
  • female speakers

Aidan Budd

I really enjoyed seeing some ‘old friends’ again at the HUB – including Gustavo (one of the people who kick-started the Cape Town unseminars, he’s now at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton) and Maria, who was in Paris for several years, and is now back nearish to here, and it turns out worked in Florian’s lab before she left. Small world, eh?!

I thought Florian did a great job yesterday – looked like the evening was very well received. Thanks for that, Florian! And to all the others who worked hard to make it a success.

Things I particularly liked:

  •  the venue fitted the purpose and our activities well
  • the ice breaker was super-simple (in some ways) and went very well
  • trying something different (and I think fun) with the dance
  • Florian’s MCing

Things I think we could do differently:

  • a less full program, for exactly the reasons Laura gives above. I know it’s really hard to keep the number of things you do in an event low (whenever I organise a course, it’s always so hard to say ‘we can do without that’) – but I think, in retrospect, we could have made two HUBs out of this – one on optical illusions, one on data viz, and then both would not have felt so rushed etc.
  • no questions after Flash talks – if people want to talk with the flashtalkes, they can grab them afterwards
  • have more diverse speakers