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So You Think You Can Dance Your Ph.D.
October 23, 2011 7:29 PM   Subscribe

In this annual contest, each dance must be based on a scientist's Ph.D. research, and the scientist must be part of the dance. Biomedical engineer Joel Miller has won Best Ph.D. Dance of 2011. The crowning ceremony will be held at TEDxBrussels in Belgium on November 22, 2011. No word yet on whether the winning choreography will be performed. Previously danced here.
posted by Laminda (18 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Scientist uses interpretative dance to explain the honey-robbing habits of bees
posted by homunculus at 7:51 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice post.

I've always thought oral exams should be done in song, too.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:58 PM on October 23, 2011


You can see the rest of the contestants from this year on the Videos page of the Gonzo Labs site.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 PM on October 23, 2011


I liked the winning video, but felt a little let down as it wasn't quite what I was expecting. More like just a short film that happened to have music and some dancing involved.

Still, I love the concept behind the contest. And that bee-dancing guy is fantastic.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:08 PM on October 23, 2011


could humanites do this too?
posted by PinkMoose at 9:27 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


How the hell did Anderson not take this thing? I mean, daaaaang.
posted by phooky at 9:35 PM on October 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Think of how much more interesting Academia would be if everyone had to do something like this to get their Ph.D.
posted by mostlymartha at 9:54 PM on October 23, 2011


I thought it'd be funny to explain Bender's method, and/or my version thereof, via a Waiting for Godot like coffee shop dialog play with the various subgroups represented as patrons and their discussions representing the interactions that mostly yield contradictions.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:19 PM on October 23, 2011


I'm still waiting for architecture.
posted by Xere at 11:45 PM on October 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is stupid. I like Bubble Sort explained through Hungarian Dance but c'mon... it's really stupid to ask people to explain their doctoral theses by means of dance. It degrades the point of graduate studies and degrades dance at the same time.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:35 AM on October 24, 2011


I'm researching ancient Roman building materials and techniques. Xere, if I can get it together for next year's contest your wish will come true.
posted by Eumachia L F at 12:44 AM on October 24, 2011


"could humanites do this too?"

I'd like to see this. But instead of dancing, explain what you're studying through the medium of mathematical theorem.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:54 AM on October 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd like to see this. But instead of dancing, explain what you're studying through the medium of mathematical theorem.

Yeah, seriously. Bringing humanities here is like bringing a texan high school football team that went to state to play against a brand new team in Burkina Faso. Doesn't make sense.

Maybe the humanities majors can build robots and fight each other. I'd totally be as interested in that as I am interested in this competition.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:13 AM on October 24, 2011


I'm researching ancient Roman building materials and techniques. Xere, if I can get it together for next year's contest your wish will come true.

Per the rules:

I’m not a scientist anymore.
We still love you. If you completed a science-related Ph.D. sometime in your distant past, you’re in.

I’m an engineer/mathematician/economist/historian of science.
Odd-balls are welcome. Your Ph.D. must be in a science-related field, but that’s loosely defined.


I think you're out, but maybe if its more sciency than history...
posted by hal_c_on at 2:18 AM on October 24, 2011


I think you're out, but maybe if its more sciency than history...

i would argue my case for the loose definition. it's actually archaeological science, and i'm doing geochemistry and material analysis using techniques from the world of concrete science. it involves x-rays and backscatter. i'm hoping that counts.
posted by Eumachia L F at 3:26 AM on October 24, 2011


I don't know; a Busby Berkeley-style spectacle on, say, the use of semi-colons in Hemingway would be awesome. It's only the dancers and theater people who have to use theorems; most Humanities students are as maladroit as any Science major.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:35 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someone likes OK Go...
posted by Samizdata at 7:03 AM on October 24, 2011


I had a popular post a while ago with a bunch of molecular biology movies, it included one film demonstrating mitosis through the power of dance and another one that I am shocked is not included:

Protein synthesis: an epic on the cellular level a dance production at Standford that is still shown in undergraduate classes today as the best possible demonstration of transcription possible. BEST.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:35 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


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