UK (City University of London) John Burn-Murdoch receives Honorary Doctorate from City

He has made a significant contribution to the quality of public debate by using interactive visualizations to analyse and communicate the most pressing issues of the day.

By City Press Office(City Press Office), Published Wednesday, 19th July 2023

John Burn-Murdoch was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) at the School of Science and Technology’s (SST) graduation ceremony at the Barbican Centre on Monday 17th July 2023.

Those nominated for City’s Honorary Doctorates have achieved high professional or academic distinction in their fields and are considered outstanding role models for City’s students.

John Burn-Murdoch was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting evidence-informed debate in the public arena though the use of data science and visualisation.


His high-profile use of visualization and data science helped audiences around the world understand the complexities of the coronavirus pandemic. And he has helped to inject data and evidence-based argument into what can often otherwise be a heated and politically motivated climate of discourse. As Chief Data Reporter for the Financial Times, his work has risen to global prominence.

John graduated from Durham University in Geography in 2011 before becoming a proud alumnus of City, gaining an MA in Interactive Journalism in 2012. In 2014, he received an MSc in Data Science from the University of Dundee.

His initial reporting career included sports journalism for the Doncaster Free Press. While a student at City, he showed a clear aptitude and enthusiasm for data journalism, learning quickly from some of the pioneers who taught on the course, and through work experience at the Telegraph Group and elsewhere. One of his tutors recalls a certain tension between the demands of his MA coursework and the appeal of shifts with the Guardian’s data team.

He has worked at the Financial Times since 2013, first as a Data Journalist in the interactive news team, and currently as Chief Data Reporter. He returned to City as a Visiting Lecturer a few years after completing his MA in journalism.

He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics.