This year marks the 150-year anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of Species,” and to celebrate, the Evolutionary Studies Program (EvoS) will host a special guest to perform “The Rap Guide to Evolution.”
Hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman will perform his award-winning presentation at 4 p.m. Friday in Lecture Hall 2.
“Science and humanities are famously said to be different worlds, but in the real world the most important ideas are communicated through art, and fusing science and art is extremely important and interesting,” said David Sloan Wilson, a professor in the biology department and BU’s EvoS program, who first had the idea to bring Brinkman here.
The rap guide seeks to put many concepts of evolutionary science into an accessible form by using a medium students are familiar with.
The performance also “turns the lens around and uses evolutionary logic to explain common themes in music and, more specifically, rap music,” said Jim DeVona, project coordinator for EvoS.
Brinkman had been performing rap events on 14th-century English author Geoffrey Chaucer when he was asked to do the same for Darwin and the theory of evolution. He researched the material for the rap thoroughly, even using books written by Wilson.
Dr. Mark Pallen, a microbiologist at the University of Birmingham, checked the material entirely for its scientific accuracy, ensuring that it serves as an excellent teaching device, as well as entertainment.
When the opportunity arose to provide students with such a groundbreaking event, the EvoS program did not hesitate to invite Brinkman to come perform.
Brinkman has performed at the Edinburgh Art Festival, Scotland’s largest annual festival of visual art.
“It is an example of how evolutionary thinking can inform our understanding of humanity itself, not just the rest of the animal kingdom, but humanity as well,” DeVona said.
The event is free and students are encouraged to attend.