Interpreting science for the general public is important, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Sometimes, no matter how many killer diagrams and visually stunning charts you have, or how refined and elegant your language, there is only one way to truly get your message across: interpretive dance!
The Dance Your PhD contest is the brainchild of John Bohannon, who writes the occasional “Gonzo Science” column in Science Magazine. The rules are simple: the participant must be (or at one time have been) a PhD candidate, and must appear in a video in which they use interpretive dance to explain their research. Beyond that, anything goes. Most videos include a number of collaborators, from lab mates to professional coreographers and special effects artists. This year, the fourth since the international contest started, saw a record 55 entries, which were then whittled down to a field of 16 semi-finalists. The field included two Canadians, one of whom won her category, and both of whom I had the pleasure of speaking with this week.