At last month’s TEDxBrussels, John Bohannon shared a brilliant thought with the audience. Why use PowerPoint to make presentations when we can instead use dance to convey difficult scientific concepts, or any other story for that matter? This refreshing and inspiring idea shows the value of crossing disciplines and generating new ways to understand complex questions. Steve Jobs was famous for his unique understanding of design and technology. According to his biographer, Walter Isaascson, Jobs saw himself at the crossroads of the scientific and liberal arts world. This ability to constantly shift from one mindset to another enabled him to imagine and produce revolutionary devices such as the ipod, iphone and the ipad.
If we want to see the world differently we need to be able to switch paradigms rather than be stuck with one mindset. By crossing disciplines and frameworks we can revisit existing information with a fresh perspective. This is what hyperthinking is about. The ability to shift our vision of a problem in a very deliberate way and explore it from varied perspectives can create the ‘eureka’ moment needed to understand how a falling apple is key to planetary orbit or understand why the finger is the ultimate tool to experience a tablet.
Dance your PhD is a concept formed from the merger of two worlds, dance and science – two worlds rarely seen together. It may simply be helping us (I mean the non-scientists) understand complex phenomena because we are entertained and open to the experience. As opposed to jargon infested PowerPoint slides. In addition, by creating the choreography for the presentation, scientists can explore their subject, develop new insights and express them. Dance could lead to a monumental scientific breakthrough and curiously win someone a Nobel Prize with a choreography award.
After the success of his presentation at TEDxBrussels, John Bohannon was approached by people from different sectors to help them create a Dance Your PhD concept for entirely new subjects. Maybe Europe’s leaders needs a “Dance your EURO” spectacle to get their heads around what is going. Whatever it is, I am sure we’ll make a song and dance about it.
You can watch John Bohannon’s presentation below: