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Dance Competition "Dance Your PhD" at the IMP


15 Feb 2008
Josef Penninger beating cancer in dance

Scientists from various disciplines were given the chance to interpret the title of their doctoral thesis into a form of dance on January 18, 2008. "Dance Your PhD" is the name of this extraordinary initiative that celebrated its premiere at the IMP, Research Institute of Molecular Pathology. Recently, winners and videos were released on the website of the journal, Science.

The candidates performed before the audience in three categories: students, post-docs and professors danced to music they selected themselves. The proud overall winner of the evening was Brian Stewart of the University of Oxford, who was able to wow the jury members with his "Antelope Hunt". Other winners were Nicole-Claudia Meisner (Category: Postdoc) and Giulio Superti-Furga, director of the Research Center of Molecular Medicine, CeMM (Category: Professors).

The audience was treated to the interpretations of other participants including that of IMP Group Leader Anton Wutz in a sensually staged "Mouse-Tracking Ballet" and Josef Penninger, Scientific Director of the Partner Institute IMBA, who interpreted his doctoral thesis with a courageous variation of the "Vogerl-Tanz".

After the dance competition, another treat awaited the audience: the video show entitled "Molecular Code". In a fascinating amalgamation, the two DJs, Christoph Campregher ("trockenmoos") and Sebastian Tomczak ("little-scale"), laid their music on the decks, accompanied by everyday noise from the lab, videos and scientific laboratory scenes, thus forming extraordinary picture-sound compositions. Jim Hutchins (IMP) was involved in the piece as well, his videos "Beta counter" and "Luminometer" also highlighted the show.

The spectacle was organized by Nilay Yapici (IMP) and Science author, John Bohannon, who has for some time published articles in his column, "Gonzo Scientist", reporting on the masterful links between science, art and culture.