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Scientists Dance Their Dissertations

by Miranda Trimmier 


Tags: Arts, science, dance, performance, Science magazine,

Spend much time contemplating positron emission tomography? Or asymmetric mutant hybrids? Yeah, me neither. Science magazine, sensing a disconnect between scientists and the general public, dreamed up a novel way to make the researchers' jargon more accessible. It challenged them to translate the dense language of their work—into dance.

Science announced the winners of the second-annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest last week. The results, it acknowledges, are “not as data-rich as a peer-reviewed article,” but they’re infinitely more entertaining. Here’s the winning video from the graduate student division, which explains the role of vitamin D in beta cell function with headlamps, bubbles, and a lot of flailing around:

The budding choreographers won the chance to work with real ones, who will help each winner transform a second article into a new dance. The fruits of these collaborations will debut at a “This Is Science” performance in February.

(Thanks, Daily Beast.)