What was most interesting about the TED Talk entitled "The simple genius of a good graphic?" How can his concepts be applied to Epidemiology?

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The most interesting thing about the TED talk by Tommy McCall entitled "The Simple Genius of a Good Graphic" will vary from viewer to viewer, but the application of his ideas to the field of epidemiology contains great potential for everyone involved in the field.

McCall's point about the importance of good graphics is particularly relevant to any field that has a lot of quantitative data to interpret and to communicate to others in an efficient and understandable way. Epidemiology, which studies how health-related events impact populations and examines ways to manage health problems that afflict large numbers, is one field that generates a significant amount of quantitative data and, therefore, can benefit from the use of clever and straightforward visual displays that communicate complicated bits of information.

One example of a good graphic, according to McCall, is illustrated in his description of a simple dot he placed on his redesign of The New York Times's performance metrics for the most common stocks. This dot communicated huge amounts of meaning to the readers of The New York Times, who consulted the image for information about the current price of the stock. McCall's dot was so successful that The Wall Street Journal soon began to imitate his approach to communicating information to its readers. In epidemiology, similar dots planted on a chart reporting the frequency of a particular disease can point out to researchers specific years or eras during which the disease was less frequent or more frequent amongst a population of humans, for example.

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