Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Archaeologist in Loin Cloth wins First Annual Ph.D Dance-Off
It may be an unfortunate stereotype, but very few people consider scientists to be doctors of the more funkified arts.

A new competition in Austria aimed to change all that while helping to spread some scientific knowledge. The event was the first annual “Dance Your Ph.D” contest recently organized by the Medical University of Vienna and “Gonzo Scientist” John Bohannon from the journal Science. The competition pretty much does what it says on the tin. Anyone who has or is studying for a doctoral degree is eligible to enter and do an interpretive dance on the subject of their doctoral thesis.

As it turns out, that negative stereotype about academics and dancing may be true, because most people agreed the dances were hilariously awful. The competition was won by Oxford University archaeologist Dr. Brian Stewart, along with Giulia Saltini-Semerari, for their interpretation of Stewart’s thesis, “Refitting repasts: a spatial exploration of food processing, sharing, cooking and disposal at the Dunefield Midden campsite, South Africa.”

No, I'm afraid not even an "Artist's Conception" will do here.

More here.