Congratulations! | June 9, 2018

EAPS Outreach Award for Tim Riffe

MPIDR researcher Tim Riffe received the prestigious "EAPS Outreach Award for Communication in Population Science" at the European Population Conference 2018 in Brussels together with Ilya Kashnitsky from the University of Groningen.

MPIDR researcher Tim Riffe with the EAPS Outreach Award certificate in June 2018 in Brussels

© Mine Kühn

The EAPS Outreach Award for Communication in Population Science is awarded by the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) and is meant to encourage researchers to better communicate population research. It values innovative approaches to communication which include, but are not restricted to, new ways of data visualization.

European demographers described in a nomination letter to EAPS, why Tim Riffe now got the EAPS Award:

"Tim Riffe played an instrumental role in promoting innovative visualization techniques by organizing a session on this topic at PAA 2015 (San Diego), one-day workshops at PAA 2016 (Washington) and EPC 2018 (Brussels), one-week courses at the Barcelona Summer School of Demography, and a one-week visualization retreat in Rostock. These events not only increased the general awareness of demographers about the importance of good graphical communication, but also improved the practical visualization skills of dozens of young researchers.

In his research, Tim Riffe has proposed several generalizations of the Lexis diagram, the most famous demographic representation tool, and doing so opened new alleys of research. The original 2-dimensional Lexis diagram only uses chronological age and calendar time. He and his co-authors generalized it to a 3-dimensional tetrahedron, allowing for extra measures of thanatological age, birth cohorts, death cohorts and lifespan time measures. This undoubtedly opens new perspectives on classic demographic phenomena.

Tim Riffe has also written countless blog entries on innovative graphical representations of demographic processes. Importantly, he systematically posted his code, thus actively promoting good practices in terms of reproducibility and Open Science. These entries include for instance an animated translation of a classic population age-pyramid into a population time-to-death pyramid, and a groundbreaking representation of birth flows comparing period and cohort fertility trends."

The European Population Conference, at which the award ceremony has taken place today, is the largest and most important meeting of the demographic research community in Europe.