Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is Your Ph.D. About?

Dance Your Ph.D. is a contest for people in the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and social science) to create videos in which they explain their research thesis through dance. The rules are that a video must be on the Ph.D. student's own thesis and that the Ph.D. student must be a part of the video. The grand prize winner receives $1000, is recognized by Science, and achieves "immortal geek fame on the Internet." The best Ph.D. dance also gets a free trip and hotel stay in Brussels so they can be crowned the winner at the TEDx conference on November 22, 2011. A $500 prize goes to each of the best videos in each remaining science categories.

As of today the four winners have been announced!

Joel Miller,  a biomedical engineer at the University of Western Australia in Perth, has won the grand prize for his video about using lasers to create titanium alloys strong and flexible enough for long-lasting hip replacements.

Cedric Tan of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom won the Biology prize for his video depicting the mating dance of the fruit fly, capturing the way that male flies stalk and sniff the female flies.

FoSheng Hsu, a chemist at Cornell University,  won the Chemistry prize for his project about the entire sequence of steps required for x-ray crystallography. His video starts with the depiction of a bacterium spitting out raw protein and ends with a dance interpretation of the three-dimensional structure of a protein.

Emma Ware, a behavioral biologist at Queen's University in Canada, won the Social Sciences prize for her video about the courtship dances of male pigeons and their attention to the females.

Didn't get to enter your video this year? No worries! The contest will be going again next year so start thinking of great ways to Dance Your Ph.D.

Find out more and enter your video here:
The Dance Your Ph.D. Contest Website

Science article "'Dance Your Ph.D.' Winner Announced"

To see all the videos from the 16 finalists check out the Science article "Dancing to Epigenetics and Endocytosis"

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