Our World in Data
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Our World in Data (OWID) is a scientific online publication that focuses on large global problems such as poverty, disease, hunger, climate change, war, existential risks, and inequality. It is a project of the Global Change Data Lab, a registered charity in England and Wales, and founded by Max Roser, a social historian and development economist. The research team is based at the University of Oxford.
The web publication uses interactive charts and maps to illustrate research findings often taking a long-term view to show how global living conditions have changed over time.
In 2020, Our World in Data became one of the leading organizations publishing global data and research on the COVID-19 pandemic.[non-primary source needed] They created and maintained the worldwide database on testing for COVID-19 which was used by the United Nations, the White House, the World Health Organization and epidemiologists and researchers. Their COVID testing database was published in Nature.
In 2021 Our World in Data created and maintained the worldwide database on vaccinations for COVID. It was used by the World Health Organization, the New York Times, and the Financial Times in their data portals.
In the first years Roser developed the publication together with inequality researcher Sir Tony Atkinson. The first grant to support the research project was given by the Nuffield Foundation, a London-based foundation focused on social policy.
In 2019, Tyler Cowen and Patrick Collison called for a new academic discipline of 'Progress Studies' that institutionalizes the mission of Our World in Data and Collison published a permanent recommendation to join the team of Our World in Data.
In 2019, Our World in Data won the Lovie Award, the European web award, "in recognition of their outstanding use of data and the internet to supply the general public with understandable data-driven research – the kind necessary to invoke social, economic, and environmental change."
Collaborations and partnerships
The publication has received grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom and the Nuffield Foundation as well as donations from hundreds of individuals.
The non-profit Global Change Data Lab publishes the website and the open-access data tools that make the online publication possible. The research team is based at the University of Oxford's Oxford Martin School. Director is the founder Max Roser.
The Our World in Data research team also publishes their research work in a number of widely accessed media outlets including the BBC, Vox, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. The research team has also collaborated with science YouTube channel Kurzgesagt to reach millions of viewers.
In the coronavirus pandemic, the team partnered with epidemiologists from Harvard's Chan School of Public Health and the Robert Koch Institute to study countries that have responded successfully in the early phase of the pandemic. Oxford professors Janine Aron and John Muellbauer worked with OWID to research the excess mortality during the pandemic.
Tina Rosenberg emphasized in The New York Times that Our World in Data presents a “big picture that’s an important counterpoint to the constant barrage of negative world news”. Steven Pinker placed Roser's Our World in Data on his list of his personal “cultural highlights” and explained in his article on 'the most interesting recent scientific news' why he considers Our World in Data so very important.
Institutions that rely on this online publication for their teaching include Harvard, the University of Oxford, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, The University of Cambridge, and the University of California Berkeley. Our World in Data is used by teachers and lecturers in a range of subjects including medicine, psychology, biology, sustainable development, economics, history, politics and public policy.
From March 2020 to February 2021, the site was visited by 100 million users.
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