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Dance of the Scientists Answered

So you think you can defend your research in front of a panel of experts? How about if you had to do it... with interpretive dance.

No, this is not a joke. This is the first annual Dance Your Ph.D. Contest. Read this description and hit the link for videos of the dances.

...the diversity of the dancers was nothing compared with the diversity of their output. The graduate student category is a case in point. The first dance, Gruetzbauch's 30-second galactic tango, focused on one phenomenon: the capture of a galaxy by a larger one. Schraffl gave us raw data—a small scene from Il pittore parigino by Domenico Cimarosa—without analysis or metaphor. Sven Ramelow did a bit of both. His quantum physics Ph.D. title allowed him to make a play on words: The acronym SPUC is a homophone of a German word for ghost, and hence the scary sheet dance. Meanwhile, he used a laser light attached to his head to illustrate the strangely behaving photons he studies. (Very clever.) But then came Brian Stewart.

No one was surprised when he scooped the prize. For one thing, Stewart wore nothing but a shimmering, translucent loin cloth. (That's worth a few bonus points in my book.) But the judges told me afterward that his dance stood out because it accomplished two things at once. Most importantly, "he connected with the audience," said Pastorini. "That is the purpose of dance: to create emotions." A big help was his choice of music a jazz interpretation of African Pygmy tribal music by Herbie Hancock which created an atmosphere of funky ancientness.

Dance Your Ph.D. Contest
via Neatorama

Comments

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Doctor What
Doctor What

13 years ago

Heh. I need one of those loin cloths.

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Weissensteinburg
Weissensteinburg

13 years ago

Why didn't I see Eric's name mentioned anywhere? He better be there next time!