Dance Your PhD
Florence Metz/YouTube

Explaining your PhD thesis to people outside your field can be tricky. You want to be accurate, but also comprehensible, and sometimes words just aren’t enough. Enter the Dance Your PhD contest, now in its eighth year.

This year’s winner was Florence Metz of the University of Bern. Metz, the first social scientist to nab the winners spot, choreographed a dance based around her PhD work into understanding how policy affects water quality decisions.

Water is a contentious issue, especially now with dwindling supplies of fresh water and a growing human population. In addition to humans who need water to drink and bathe, industries use it in manufacturing, and to dispose of waste:

Agricultural groups also need water for waste disposal and to water their flocks and crops.

Environmentalists want to protect water sources…

And politicians have to delicately dance between all these concerns while representing the needs of their constituents:

The contest is divided into 4 categories: physics, chemistry, biology, and social sciences. Winners of each category get $500 and the overall winner gets an extra $500 and a trip to Stanford where their video will be screened.

“Family and friends watched the video and became a little [more] familiar with my research work,” Metz said in a statement. “I feel that the video contributed to making [my] research accessible to a larger crowd of people.”

Watch the entire video above.