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This graph is so ugly—and you’ll never guess where it appeared

Raghu Parthasarathy writes:

I know you’re sick of seeing / being pointed to awful figures, but this one is an abomination of a sort I’ve never seen before:


It’s a pie chart *and* a word cloud. In an actual research paper! Messy, illegible, and generally pointless.

It’s Figure 1 of this paper (in Cell — super high-impact. Sigh…)

I agree. This is one bad graph.


  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Plus, it’s wrong. I hate lima beans.

  2. Jeff says:

    Also, in the graphical abstract, the outlook for the Bangladeshi child seems a little grim.

  3. Phil says:

    It’s the graphical equivalent of Shimmer Floor Wax.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Although this isn’t ggplot2 obviously, I definitely am seeing a lot of grammar-of-graphics-itis where people think if they map enough features to enough aesthetic mappings, they have a sophisticated visualization.

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