The transformer | osp blog

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The transformer

The transformer (Marie Neurath) at work

Today a long awaited booklet arrived in the post: The transformer, principles of making Isotype charts written by Robin Kinross & Marie Neurath. It is inspiring in its modest but precise description of unorthodox working methods developed by philosopher, sociologist, and economist Otto Neurath and his associates. To produce 'pictures out of data', a central role was given to 'the transformer'. Marie Neurath explains:

It is the responsibility of the 'transformer' to understand the data, to get all necessary information from the expert, to decide what is worth transmitting to the public, how to make it understandable, how to link it with general knowledge or with information already given in other charts. In this sense, the transformer is the 'trustee of the public'