Glamorgan Raps at the Royal Institution

University of Glamorgan science communication experts, Jon Chase and Professor Mark Brake, are to star at the Royal Institution this Saturday, 4 July, using science and hip hop music to creatively explore ways in which film and fiction has helped us imagine the future.

The event, to be staged in the world-renowned Faraday Lecture Theatre, is the latest in a summer of scoops for the University’s science communication team, which is headed up by Professor Brake. Last week another member of the team, Dr Toby Murcott, scooped the front page of Nature, the prestigious science journal.

Glamorgan protégé Jon Chase rose to fame last year when he was commissioned by Professor Mark Brake and NASA to create his Astrobiology Rap, which has had over 247,000 hits on YouTube. And only last week, at the UK’s science communication conference in London, Jon performed his unique fusion of rap and science to an enthusiastic audience of key stakeholders, including Sir Roland Jackson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, and Clare Matterson, Director of the Medicine, Society and History division at the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Brake said, “Jon and I are delighted to be helping out the Royal Institution for one of their public engagement events. Jon has a unique and tremendous energy and vibrancy which is a heady fusion of performance and pedagogy”. Jon Chase commented, “When we engage with people, they get to see how science and the imagination work hand in hand to help with creativity. We hope that participants get to explore what popular culture, especially through hip hop, has to say about how science and technology have helped shape our views of the world”.

The Royal Institution event is part of a busy summer for Jon. Later this month he is to travel as guest speaker to NASA‘s AbGradCon conference in Seattle, where his astrobiology rap will be a main feature.

Both scholars teach on the University’s MSc Communicating Science, which trains for careers in media, government, and research. The course is now available both full-time and part-time.

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