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Dance Your Ph.D.

By Vladimir Brezina and Johna Till Johnson

It’s the question every science graduate student dreads:  “So, what’s your Ph.D. research about?” You take a deep breath and begin. People’s eyes glaze over…

The problem isn’t that your life’s work is uninteresting. It’s that the conventional way to explain it can be limiting:  Words can only get so far.  What if there were a better way to tell your story? Something like…  interpretive dance!

The first “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest was organized in 2008 by John Bohannon, the “Gonzo Scientist” of GonzoLabs and a contributing correspondent covering the intersection of science, culture, and art for Science magazine (“who, in true gonzo style, will participate in the events he covers”). Since then, the contest has become an annual event sponsored by Science. For the 2011 contest, 55 dances were submitted “covering everything from psychology to astrophysics,” and the winners have just been announced.

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