Watch: Dancing the zebrafish

Truly translating their research to the medium dance (and only second to film) is what this year’s winners of the »Dance your Ph.D. contest« have in common – they are all expert science communicators. That’s also where similarities end.

Overall winner and social science category winner

Antonia Groneberg, »Early life social experiences shape social avoidance kinematics in larval zebrafish«

Biology category winner

Katharina Hanika, »Impairing disease susceptibility genes to obtain resistance to Verticillium wilt in tomato«

Chemistry category winner

Jackie Zorz, »An integrated approach to improving efficiency in microbial bioenergy systems«

Physics category winner

Samuli Junttila, »Utilizing multispectral lidar in the detection of declined trees«

Outstanding is Antonia Gronenberg’s »Early life social experiences shape social avoidance kinematics in larval zebrafish« translation into dance and then film. It is clear from the start that this researcher also breathes dance. The choreography is not only beautiful but enacts the research findings in such clarity it is amazing.

Samuli Junttila’s »Utilizing multispectral lidar in the detection of declined trees« sticks out among all, because he has an original score, a rap song, and his videos mimics conventional rap videos in a professional way, giving it a fun twist.
 
Not everyone has the resources available that Gronenberg and Junttila did, and this is what makes this group of videos a good showcase for anyone who is thinking of dancing their science. With much lesser means the other two videos also successfully translate research findings to dance, are fun to watch and make the science much easier to remember.

The videos which had been submitted to the Science magazine’s contest are very diverse not only in the research topics, but also in the type of performance displayed – from belly dance to rap –, the music and the resources that had been available for production.

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