There’s a new generation of scientists using their platforms to encourage diversity in STEM fields but who also say being involved in science doesn’t mean you can’t also seek social justice.
Among the voices seeking change is Maynard Okereke, also known as the Hip Hop MD.
“Science and social justice and politics aren’t separated, they all tie in unison and they all have an impact on each other,” Okereke said in an interview with WKMG.
The character Hip Hop MD was created from Okereke’s love for music and science but also from growing up like most kids watching “Bill Nye The Science Guy.”
To Okereke, Nye’s passion for science was what made him realize being a “science nerd” is OK.
“As a nerd and science lover you’re like, ‘That is cool,’” Okereke said of watching Nye. “To see somebody that’s that passionate and can be their authentic true self.”
However, it’s not lost on Okereke that Nye’s show might not speak to everyone. Trade Nye’s signature bow tie for a pair of headphones, throw in comparisons to rap icons, mix in some epic fail videos, add Okereke’s passion for STEM and that’s where you’ll find his character Hip Hop MD. It’s “Bill Nye meets Worldstar,” the Hip Hop Science Instagram bio reads.
“I wanted to showcase that science is cool. You could talk about black holes and bio-mimicry in nature just as easily as you could talk about a new pair of Jordan’s or a new song that just came out or a new hip hop video,” Okereke said.