Right Turn: Dance your Ph.D. – give it a whirl!

Author: Stacey Johnson, 09/23/16

The “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest is a brilliant example of out of the box thinking, but it’s not the first case of science being interpreted through dance.

Science journalist John Bohannon, the man behind “Dance Your Ph.D” – “an inebriated stunt at a Vienna science party” – says he did some research and found the first example of this phenomenon taking place in 1971 at Stanford University.

As he puts it, “In an era of free love and violent protests, about 100 people danced on the grass, enacting one of the greatest discoveries of the century: how the ribosome translates genes from DNA into proteins.” It’s worth reading his short article in Science.

More recently, creative types who favour stem cells have choreographed flash mobs and an interpretive modern dance piece. Amazing.

“Dance Your Ph.D.” is back for its ninth year and submissions are due September 30, 2016. What may have started as a joke in 2007 now has hundreds of submissions and millions of fans. Blogger Camila Londono shared her favourite in a 2015 Signals post that featured a video on how cardiac cells change their character after a heart attack.

Here’s hoping a Canadian submission lands on top.

Audience Choice Award and Chemistry Winner 2015: Neutrophils



Biology Winner 2015: Tropoelastin: An elastic and interactive molecule



Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.

As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.


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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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