If you ask any PhD student what his thesis is about, one of two things is likely to happen:
1. You get a long, drawn out paragraph of mumbo jumbo things that no one in the outside world will ever understand…
2. “It’s about electrons.”
That is to say, you get the watered-down, one word version and a subtle invitation to please stop asking questions because you wouldn’t understand it anyway. But what if there was a way to communicate complex ideas, the stuff of PhD’s, without watering it down or shutting the rest of us out?
Apparently there is…
What was once a little known video contest for PhD students to explain their research through dance has blown up into a full-scale online dance film fest. Scientist/writer John Bohannon developed the Dance Your PhD contest as a way to make science accessible and understandable to everyone.
Plus, he sees this model as a way to attack some of the problems we face in the dance community. Bohannon gave this TED talk a few years ago, where he claims that dancers are a valuable and fragile resource. Using dancers as a learning tool and a means of communicating lofty, inaccessible ideas could be one way to protect the fields of both dance AND science.