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Ever wonder what "the negotiation of contributions to public wikis" looks like - as an interpretive dance routine?

Wonder no more: The fourth annual "Dance Your Ph.D." contest is well underway, with scientists from around the world choreographing elaborate footwork to help explain their graduate research.

An article in Science Magazine, which launched the contest in June, puts it this way: "The dreaded question. 'So, what's your Ph.D. research about?' You could bore them with an explanation. Or you could dance."

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This year saw 45 spirited submissions; finalists have been announced already and include a few Canadians, such as Anne Goldenberg. Her dance for Ph.D. research into wikis - conducted in part at Université du Québec à Montréal-is performed vigorously next to a rock face. The crew includes a woman with a baby in a sling and a guy with serious science hair.

Voting for the winner continues until Oct. 19. Cue nerd squawk.

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Zosia More

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