Better slides needed at AGU Meetings



Recent AGU meetings show a dangerous trend in the quality of presentations. A fair percentage of slides used during oral presentations consisted of a black background and colored lines and/or words for data. Such slides are illegible and serve to undercut the speaker's points by not demonstrating the data clearly.

A typical example consisted of dark red, dark blue, and green data on a black background. Even the author had difficulty in pointing out the data using his light arrow. Line drawings, in particular, should not use colors, but instead use high-contrast white-on-black for the following reasons: dark colors on black backgrounds provide little contrast, making it difficult to discern patterns; people who are colorblind are at a disadvantage; and the same information can be obtained using a variety of line weights (dotdash, solid, dotted, etc.) with single color slides.