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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Dance Your PhD!

From Science this week, here’s the lead in to the story:

“When Florence Metz turned in her Ph.D. thesis on water protection policy this year at the University of Bern in Switzerland, she thought her work was done. But then a friend sent her an email with congratulations and an order: “Dance your Ph.D.!”

The friend was referring to Science‘s annual contest, which challenges scientists to explain their research through interpretive dance. But Metz only had 3 weeks to go before the deadline. “Everything had to go fast,” she says, so she recruited a small army of friends to help her create a dance video that combines hip hop, salsa, and even acro-yoga. Each dance style represented a different interest group that shapes the evolution of policies around water resources.

Her quick thinking paid off: Metz has bested 31 other teams to become this year’s Dance Your Ph.D. winner. The judges gave her top marks not only for the work’s scientific and artistic merit but how she creatively combined both. She takes home $1000 and a trip to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, in the spring—thanks to HighWire Press, Science‘s online publishing platform—where she’ll screen her dance video and give a talk. It is the first time a social scientist has scooped the top prize in the contest’s 8-year history.”

Ya gotta watch it, and love it, on YouTube, here.

And the November 2010 issue of science provides more on why scientists dance.

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