Skip to main content

Listening to Data: Using Sound and Music in Science Communication

Judy Twedt, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, University of Washington

Feb 3 2020 | 11:00am to 12:00pm, PST Bren Hall 1414

Judy Twedt speaking into mic
Judy Twedt

Judy Twedt is a true interdisciplinary scholar in her ability to combine art, science, and communication. Her talk will give us insight into her novel ways of communicating climate change science by translating data into music. I am excited to hear about her ideas, and to learn what she is working on next.
— Rachel Torres, Bren School PhD Student


As environmental professionals in the 21st century, our research often communicates distressing information, whether it’s about climate change, ocean acidification, or new vulnerabilities of ecosystems or human communities. Standard information-driven models of science communication — particularly those documenting environmental risks or decline — can leave audiences with cognitive overload or cause disengagement, thus siloing the public value of our academic research. I present experiments in science communication using data sonification — the process of mapping data to sound to musically express and memorialize important climate datasets.  I show how, by translating data artfully and with emotional sensitivity, we can increase accessibility and bring more public value to environmental research.


Judy Twedt has a masters degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington, and is a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program studying Climate Data Sonification. A National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, her soundtracks have been aired on NPR, PBS, Canadian Public Broadcasting, NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, and live for TEDx Seattle. She is a fifth generation settler on Coast Salish lands, an appointee to the Governor’s Taskforce on Environmental Justice in Washington State, and speaks regularly about climate change for both lay and technical audiences.

arrow up icon