Paul May

We Are Working On It

We Are Working on It is a data visualization of scientific articles related to cancer research from 1980-2010, and a series of interviews with scientists working in cancer research.

Collective Storytelling,Data Representation

The goal of the project is to provide insight into how cancer research has changed over time, and to introduce some of the people who do this important work - increasing the awareness of cancer research as a complex - but also very human endeavor.

The project aggregated and analysed the data relating to 1.9 million scientific articles related to cancer research, drawn from the NIH PubMed database. This data was then used to produce a series of graphics showing trends over time; the number of scientists working in the field and the volume of research being conducted.

Separately, two scientists from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, Dr. Ciara O'Driscoll and Dr. Laura Eccles were interviewed about their background and their work at MSKCC.

The result is a project that brings together publicly available scientific data, data aggregation and visualization techniques, along with personal stories.