Mr Tufte goes to Washington

Yoohoo! Powerpoint junkies beware — Edward Tufte has been given a job by Obama.

Government and industry bureaucrats addicted to spewing out mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations, be very afraid; Edward Tufte is coming to Washington, DC. The Obama administration has appointed Tufte to serve on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, which will suggest ways that the $787 billion stimulus program's watchdog accountability board can do its job.

“I’m doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service,” Tufte explained on his website on Sunday. “And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do.”

We’re not so sure about that. Edward Tufte is a leading critic of and writer about graphic presentations. He’s also a champion of clarity in writing and public speaking. Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University, much of his life has been dedicated to thinking out loud about what works and doesn’t work when it comes to statistical charts, maps, and tables. His most famous book is his 1982 opus The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which coined the term “chartjunk.”