Evolution won’t truly be accepted by the general public until it is communicated through the arts and popular media. Baba Brinkman is leading the way with his Rap Guide to Evolution, which made its debut at the Cambridge Darwin Festival in 2009 and has been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Rachael Maddow Show, and college campuses on both sides of the Atlantic. Olivia Judson, author of Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation, raved about one of Baba’s performances in a New York Times column. The academic journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution gave it their first-ever music review.
Communicating a subject such as evolution through a medium such as rap is special by itself, but something else makes The Rap Guide extra special: Baba has done his homework and acquired a level of expertise about evolution comparable to a good graduate student. Thus, when he raps about topics such as the unity of common descent, the evolution of cooperation, sexual selection, and costly signaling , the cognoscenti are delighted along with the average inner city kid.
Baba’s success stands in stark contrast to the slow and even backward progress of teaching evolution in our public schools and increasing literacy in the general public. Now you can help Baba spread the word even more widely by contributing to two new ventures.
If you are a small spender, you can help Baba produce a DVD of the Rap Guide with music videos for each track, which can be used as a powerful classroom educational tool in addition to other media outlets. This project is already being supported by the Wellcome Trust, a foundation that typically funds biomedical research, but additional contributions will help to produce Hollywood quality videos. You can contribute through the mechanism of crowd funding, which includes cool incentives such as having a picture of yourself incorporated into the videos. Go here for more.
If you are a big spender, you can invest in an Off Broadway production of the Rap Guide that is being planned by Dovetail Productions. A minimum investment of 10K will give you a share of the profits if they have a successful run, so this isn’t a charitable contribution–it’s a way to do well by doing good. Go here for more.
Both opportunities are time limited so you need to act fast. For those who dream about a world in which everyone truly “gets” evolution, this is what you can do to help achieve it.