CHRGJ welcomes new research scholar
July 14, 2015

CHRGJ is happy to welcome John Emerson to the Center as a Research Scholar focusing on data-visualization for human rights advocacy. John Emerson is an activist, graphic designer, writer, and programmer based in New York City. He has worked for leading media companies as well as local and international non-profit organizations including Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the United Nations. His writing about graphic design has been published in Communication Arts and PRINT, featured in Metropolis, HOW, and The Wall Street Journal. Since 2002, he has published Social Design Notes, a weblog of writings and clippings on design and activism at

John Emerson will be working with Meg Satterthwaite and colleagues at NYU-Poly on a MacArthur-funded project to map the design space for rights-oriented data-visualization. The human rights field increasingly uses data to document phenomena such as drone attacks, conflict-related deaths, and violations of economic and social rights. But few organizations have the data-science expertise and resources needed to create visualization tools, like interactive maps and sophisticated infographics. This project seeks to use expertise in effective data visualization techniques and human-computer interaction for persuasion and attitude change, for the benefit of human rights advocates.


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