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'Dance Your Ph.D.' Winners Announced

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Sperm competition between brothers and female choice. | Cedric Kai Wei Tan, Vimeo

To express his Ph.D. thesis entitled "Sperm competition between brothers and female choice" in dance form, Cedric Tan placed his performers in a variety of settings, including a swimming pool, a lake, and a giant, clear plastic bubble.

The resulting video, a mashup of swing dance, modern jazz, and synchronized swimming, has earned the top prize in won Science’s 2013 "Dance Your Ph.D." competition, announced on 21 November by ScienceNOW.

"I assembled the team, trained them, forced tight skimpy attires on them (they complained a lot), forced them into the freezing cold lake (they hated me for it)," Tan, a biologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, told ScienceNOW via email.

The contest, now in its 6th year, is sponsored by Science magazine and AAAS. Based on votes from previous winners and an independent panel of artists and scientists, Tan won both the Biology category and the overall prize: $1000 and a trip — sponsored by HighWire Press — to screen his video at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

The judges also named winners in categories of chemistry, physics, social science and reader favorite. Further coverage, including all of the winning videos, is available at ScienceNOW.