Dance Your PhD

I sure hope they post some of the videos from this!!

The dreaded question. “So, what’s your Ph.D. research about?” You take a deep breath and launch into the explanation. People’s eyes begin to glaze over…

At times like these, don’t you wish you could just turn to the nearest computer and show people an online video of your Ph.D. thesis interpreted in dance form?

Now you can. And while you’re at it, you can win $1000, achieve immortal geek fame on the Internet, and be recognized by Science for your efforts.


This is Michael Behe’s chance to redeem himself!!

I have to say, the prize money is not as good as it ought to be. In the industry where I work, it’s not uncommon to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pointless marketing campaign; Science could have reached out to industry for some corporate sponsorship and put up a drool-worthy purse of ducats.

Meanwhile, a blast from the past, to give an idea how ferocious the competition could get:


  1. Siobhan says

    I think to demonstrate the squiggly lines I’ve learned about human sexuality and gender, I would need to get a passing grasp on The Worm.

  2. cartomancer says

    Academic thought on the Soul in England c.1160-1220.

    The obvious choice might be to set it to a sountrack of Soul music, but the sort of dancing that goes with that would be utterly and entirely beyond me. To be honest most dancing is beyond me – I look like a flustered wizard who has accidentally conjured a colony of ferrets in his trousers and is trying to work out the gestures to the counterspell through frantic trial and error.

    Gregorian Chant might be more appropriate, but it’s not exactly easy to dance to. And I’d probably have to develop signature moves for each of the major intellectuals I looked at – the son of Richard I’s wet nurse, a politically thwarted archbishop-elect, a Francophobic parish priest from Norfolk and a conceited Hereford astrology professor. Quite how one dances the concept of a gradual and idiosyncratic adoption of Aristotelian paradigms mediated through Avicenna and Augustine I have no idea. I should probably leave this to the professionals.

  3. jrkrideau says

    I really don’t like most music—I may be partially tone-deaf—so this leaves me cold, well I’d probably go out of my way to avoid it but it is a great idea.

    I do like the Three Minute Thesis approach where the participants have 3 minutes to summarize their dissertation. It sure beats reading the 700 pages of turgid prose.

  4. says

    I do like the Three Minute Thesis approach where the participants have 3 minutes to summarize their dissertation.

    Done quickly that probably is close enough to interpretive dance as we need to get.