Let's dance

Added by Branwen Hide on 02 December 2008 17:14

Communicating and disseminating research and research outputs is extremely important in breaking barriers and pushing forward global knowledge.

The way in which information is distributed is also critical, with different media targeting different audiences, for example the peer review journal article is generally targeted at other researchers in the same field, where as news articles at targeted for a much more general audience. However, these lines are beginning to blur as more and more researchers begin to use wikis, blogs and other web based technologies to disseminate their research; opening up access to both academics and the public. Also over the last few years there have been a number of initiatives to bridge science and the arts (e.g. Arts and Science Research Fellowships scheme and the Wellcome Arts Awards).

The AAAS/Science Dance Contest is the brain-child of Gonzo Scientist John Bohannon, a contributing correspondent for Science, who wanted to give scientists a chance to be creative in communicating their work, and shattering a few stereotypes about stuffy, lab-bound researchers. The first event was held in 2008 and the winners of this year contest were announced on Nov 20th. There are four categories, graduate student, post-doctoral student, professor and popular choice with the winning dances being those that most creatively convey their Ph.D. theses. It is obvious that a lot of time and thought went into these projects (which are all available on You Tube). They all deserve to be watched, and go a long way in explaining often very complex processes as well as in breaking down the stuffy stereo type that researchers often have. The videos are also reaching out to the public and were highlighted on ABC news.

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