Ok, here’s a challenge to entomology (and other) grad students! Entomologists, more than anyone, should have fertile fodder to win this contest. And what an awesome prize: Your entire Thesis, professionally choreographed and a highlight at the next AAAS meeting!

AAAS Dance Your PhD Challenge!

The winning dances will be those that most creatively convey the scientific essence of their respective Ph.D. theses.


1. Make a video of your own Ph.D. dance.
Post the video on YouTube.
Not later than 23:00 EST 16 November 2008, email your name; your Ph.D. title, university, completion date; and the Internet link to your Ph.D. dance video to: gonzo@aaas.org

The contest is open to anyone who has (or is pursuing) a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as physics, biology, chemistry, or in science-related fields such as mathematics, engineering, linguistics, bioethics, and the history of science.


On the day you are chosen as a winner, you must submit a peer-reviewed research article on which you are a co-author. (Graduate students who have not yet co-authored an article must choose one co-authored by their Ph.D. advisor.)

Each of you will be paired with a professional choreographer. (A team of 4 choreographers in Chicago are ready and waiting.) Over the next couple of weeks (via email and telephone) you must help your choreographer understand your article, its aims, the hypotheses it tests, and its big-picture context. With that knowledge, the choreographers will collaborate to create a 4-part dance based on the science behind the 4 winning research articles.

You will be honored guests at the 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago in February. Accommodation for 2 nights will be provided, and travel grants are available to help cover your expenses.

During the AAAS meeting, on 13 February 2009, you will have front row seats to the world debut of ” “THIS IS SCIENCE”–the professional dance interpretation of your scientific research.

If you are interested, last year’s winners are here. (Scroll down a bit). (The dynamic evolution of blue dwarf galaxies is quite entertaining, BTW.)

And for those of you that have not yet discovered the wonders of Ze Frank:  How to Dance Properly and Advanced Seminar in Proper Dance.

[and thanks to JasonEscapist for the….interesting bee guy photo]

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. I am not a scientist at all, but that is fascinating and amusing all at once. It seems a silly idea, but it sure is fun to watch.

  2. I think it’s hilarious. We want to get enough students from our university to apply to have our own competition.

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