A recent challenge has been proposed to scientists: describe their research in the 1000 most commonly used words in the English language. It's not easy.
(and yes, I totally agree with this article that sometimes these sorts of vocabulary constraints make explaining concepts more confusing...but if you go beyond trying to replace complex words with simpler ones and instead try to re-imagine the concept to begin with, you're getting the point of the whole exercise)
So--without further ado, I explain my PhD:
(I used this text editor that specifically tells you if you're using disallowed words)
There are many ways people can get sick. You can get sick from other
things that are living, like dogs. Or, you can also get sick from
things that aren't living, like lead. I study something living and very
small that makes people sick.
This very small living thing is one hundred times smaller than a
hair is across, and it lives inside human red blood cells. It causes
lots of trouble and kills many people every year, most of them children.
don't have many good ways to get these bad living things out of people
yet. And even worse, we don't have the bits and pieces to look at this
small thing easily or study them like we can other living things that
make people sick.
So, my job is to think of ways to help us
study these bad living things. And usually, this means taking
something even smaller --- ten hundred times smaller than a hair is
across --- and changing it in small ways so it can help us learn more about this bad living thing. Then, other people can take what we have learned and help people who are sick.