Correspondence

Nature 445, 593 (8 February 2007) | doi:10.1038/445593c; Published online 7 February 2007

Colour-blindness: how to alienate a grant reviewer

Joseph A. Ross1

  1. Peichel Laboratory, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Mailstop D4-100, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA

Sir

With regard to recent Correspondence (Nature 445, 147 & 364; 2007) on the prevalence of scientific figures that are difficult for people with red–green colour-blindness to read, I am compelled to support Chris Miall's position.

As a red-green colour–blind (deuteranope) scientist and graphic designer, I have long campaigned for figures to be accessible to an entire audience. I do so, in part, by leading seminars training my colleagues to create accessible figures.

One of the key resources I employ in this crusade is a website by Masataka Okabe and Kei Ito: http://jfly.iam.u-tokyo.ac.jp/color/index.html.

I strongly urge all authors to visit this site, which both describes the need for creating accessible images (including simulations of colour-blindness for those who are curious) and, more importantly, provides instructions for making figures comprehensible to everyone. This includes instructions on how to pseudo-colour images containing red and green fluorescent signals — one of the most hated types of graphic among people with colour-blindness. Authors will find it is surprisingly easy to accommodate the colour-blind when creating figures.

Anyone who needs to be convinced that making scientific images more accessible is a worthwhile task should consider that colour-blindness is common, affecting 5–10% of males. If your next grant or manuscript submission contains colour figures, what if some of your reviewers are colour-blind? Will they be able to appreciate your figures? Considering the competition for funding and for publication, can you afford the possibility of frustrating your audience? The solution is at hand.

Extra navigation

.

SEARCH PUBMED FOR

naturejobs

ADVERTISEMENT