Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 14:22 UK

Student goes hip-hop for science

Jonathan Chase
Jonathan Chase is set to perform the rap at the Science Museum in London

A postgraduate student who uses his love of hip-hop to make science easier to understand has been commissioned by space agency NASA to write a rap.

Jonathan Chase, who is studying at the University of Glamorgan in south Wales, was asked to come up with the Astrobiology Rap for a NASA magazine.

The song and video can be seen on You Tube and Mr Chase, from Wembley, London, will visit schools in Wales.

Mr Chase said he wanted to make scientific ideas more accessible.

The song features lyrics like: "We've been on Earth for many years and we are still producing answers; as time passes, collective knowledge advances".

The 28-year-old science communication student has also been asked to perform his rap at the science museum in London on Wednesday.

I hope that I can continue to create these raps to address the various aspects of science
Jonathan Chase

He said: "Rap and hip-hop music is my passion and I had the idea of combining it with science to make basic scientific ideas more accessible.

"Being commissioned by NASA to produce the Astrobiology Rap was a great compliment and I am delighted with its success.

"I hope that I can continue to create these raps to address the various aspects of science."

Mr Chase, who holds two undergraduate degrees in aerospace engineering and science and science fiction, is now visiting schools in south Wales to engage pupils in rap and science.

Professor Mark Brake, who leads the science communication course at the University of Glamorgan, said: "Jon's approach is light-hearted, informative, and entertaining.

"It uses rap in story form. Just as science fiction narrative comments on the world through a "hard" or "soft" science lens, rap comments on the world through a "hard" or "soft" emotional lens."

Mr Chase's Astrobiology Rap will appear in the latest edition of NASA's Astrobiology Magazine European Edition.

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