Dance your Ph.D.

Have you ever been asked to explain your Ph.D., or for that matter, any complex project, to someone who won’t even understand the words in the title?

Imagine you’re Maureen McKeague, working on “Selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment.” How would you summarize that in a way that conveyed the general sense of the work without trivializing it, or alternatively, putting your listener to sleep?

One answer is to create a dance video. This year’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest run by Science, received 45 submissions from around the world. I was impressed with all four of the finalists, but voted for McKeague’s because it seemed to most naturally fit the choreography to the logic of the research and I liked the dance itself.


Selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using SELEX from Maureen McKeague on Vimeo.

You can enter your own vote on the Science site.

Now I’m trying to imagine how to choreograph my own dissertation, The Logical Structure Underlying Temporal References in Natural Language.

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