Visualising science a winner for thesis competition
What happens when you combine a ukelule, animation and song to present a research project about edible plant species and their potential to clean up the environment? An international thesis competition winner, that’s what!
Annaclaire McDonald, a second year PhD Science student, entered this video about her food safety project and beat local and international finalists to take home first place at the inaugural International Visualise Your Thesis competition, winning the title and $5000 in prize money.
The judges said of her winning entry, "This is an instantly appealing song and video whose ideas stick in your brain long after watching it. It's charming and silly, and communicates a serious topic really effectively. The video is nicely edited to fit the music, and combines photos, text, animation, music & video into a cohesive whole."
McDonald is a songwriter and musician who has found a unique way to combine her talents with that of her research project. "Using the ukulele to write a fun sounding song about edibles in site remediation and food safety was quite the lyrical and musical challenge. However, in an environment where explaining science can sometimes get a little dry, we can’t underestimate the power of an earworm. A well-placed pun and some chuckles draw an audience in, but the song makes sure they won’t forget it in a hurry. It’s like Gruen for science communication."
McDonald is now considering a career in science communication, so that she can combine her love for comedy, theatre, music and science.
Watch her award-winning entry (above right). Warning: it’s very catchy.