Dance your Ph.D., win a trip to TEDxBrussels

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Scientific Ph.D. dissertations are notoriously difficult to explain. That’s why, for the past three years Science Magazine has sponsored the Dance Your Ph.D. competition. Scientists, from graduate students to professors, are invited to film an interpretive dance illustrating their research. If that sounds crazy, well, that’s probably because it’s run by John Bohannon of Gonzo Labs, who specializes in crazy-sounding but effective ways to communicate science. Above is the winner of the 2010 competition. (Watch all of the 2010 and 2009 videos.)

Past winners have received subscriptions to Science, money and accolades. This year, Bohannon is speaking at this year’s TEDxBrussels event, and the organizers have offered to fly the winner out to attend the conference and receive their prize on stage.

The competition has become far more successful than anyone expected — the videos have collectively received about a million views, and the participants tell stories of reactions from excitement to job offers from people who’ve seen the dances.

So if you have a Ph.D. in science, get dancing. If you don’t, take a look at a new way to appreciate and maybe understand some cutting-edge research.