Do you speak data?

A collaborative workshop on data representation and understanding

As we are reminded by the Covid-19 health crisis, data are now central to our society and our relationship to data is therefore becoming a major issue. For this reason, it is essential to stimulate data literacy, which implies promoting access to data and the ability of non-specialists to read, work with, analyze and argue with data.

On November 9, as part of the Swiss Digital Day 2021, EPFL, the University of Neuchâtel, and RTS organized, with support from IMI, a collaborative workshop in Lausanne on data literacy with journalists, researchers and experts.

What role do data play in shaping public opinion? Do the news media deal with data in an appropriate manner? What relationship do citizens have with data and their visual representation? This event, which brought together around 50 participants, was an opportunity to deconstruct the simple relationship we have sometimes with data, in small groups, through hands-on experience and the sharing of ideas.

Event photos

View more photos on the EPFL Media Library

In collaboration with


  • 17h30: Reception and registration
  • 18h00: Welcome – Mounir Krichane, IMI, EPFL
  • 18h10: Background and context – Sarah Sermondadaz,
    “Le journalisme de données à l’épreuve des crises scientifiques (climat, Covid-19, etc.)”
  • 18h25: Collaborative workshop: let’s decipher the data! – Prof. Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel & Andrew Robotham, Academy of Journalism and Media, Prof. Adrian Holzer, Information Management Institute, University of Neuchâtel
    Facilitators: Marie Polla & Solène Meyer, Codesign-it
  • 19h30: Workshop wrap-up and perspective – Christine Choirat & Bertrand Loison, Data Science and Statistical Methods, FSO
    “Data Science for Public Good”
  • 19h45: Cocktail reception and networking
  • 21h30: End of the event



Sarah Sermondadaz

Sarah Sermondadaz is Deputy Editor-in-Chief and Head of the Science & Climate Feed at She spent several years practicing her first job as an engineer before moving into science journalism. She joined the venture at its inception, in 2019, after working several years for Sciences et Avenir.



Christine Choirat

Christine Choirat is Head of the Data Science Section at the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Scientific Advisor at the Swiss Data Science Center at EPFL, and Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Extension School. She is particularly interested in health data science, high-performance computing, reproducible research, as well as environmental policy and health policy.



Bertrand Loison

Bertrand Loison is Vice Director General and Head of the Data Science and Statistical Methods Division at the Federal Statistical Office (FSO), Swiss representative to the UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics, member of the Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) Advisory Panel, and professor at the HE-Arc. His research interests include data science and artificial intelligence for public policy.



In the media

Parlez-vous data? De lʹutilisation des données en journalisme” (RTS – Médialogues)