By John Bohannon
ScienceNOW Daily News
20 November 2008
Six weeks ago, the Gonzo Scientist challenged researchers around the world to interpret their Ph.D. research in dance form, film the dance, and share it with the world on YouTube (Science, 10 October, p. 186). By the 11 p.m. deadline this past Sunday, 36 dances--including solo ballet and circus spectacle--had been submitted online. A panel of nine judges--the three winners of the first "Dance Your Ph.D." contest, three scientists from Harvard University, and three artistic directors of the dance company Pilobolus--scored the dances on their ability to bridge the art and science worlds. Today, Science announces the winners of the 2009 AAAS Science Dance Contest in four categories: Graduate Students, Postdocs, Professors, and Popular Choice:
Sue Lynn Lau chose classical ballet and highly kinetic party dancing as the way to interpret her Ph.D. thesis, "The role of vitamin D in beta-cell function." As The Nutcracker Suite lilts in the background, Lau, a graduate student from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, appears as the Sugarplum Fairy, delivering marshmallow glucose to four beta cell dancers. Meanwhile, a fifth dancer flings and twirls around the stage--representing the sunlight required for vitamin D biosynthesis.
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