When Robert Kadar assessed his future before graduating from Binghamton University in 2010, he kept coming back to evolutionary studies.
“I’ve always tried to understand the big picture and connect fields and knowledge together,” said Kadar, who received his undergraduate degree in history. “History was a good opportunity to learn about different cultures and backgrounds. But I was missing a more unified approach to science. In David Sloan Wilson’s EvoS Program, I enjoyed how it connected all of the branches of knowledge from an evolutionary perspective. I was able to delve into learning about everything.”
As a graduate student, the 26-year-old from Ithaca has not only assisted Wilson with research, but his work has helped bring evolutionary science to more people.
Kadar has created an online magazine called Evolution: This View of Life (thisviewoflife.com) that promotes using evolutionary theory to interpret subjects such as philosophy, economics, history, art, literature and religion. Kadar initially told Wilson, a distinguished professor of biological sciences, about his concept and was encouraged to create a pilot version.
Kadar looked at various science blogs and websites to develop a model, but it did not jell until the University’s Office of Creative Services stepped in to help.
“How do we make this site attractive to everyone? Our early model was changed into this amazing site with the help of Creative Services,” said Kadar, crediting Web Director Drew Hill and Web Developer Libby Graves for the magazine’s sharp look. “We can’t ask for a better team.”
Kadar then went international to find “activists of communicating evolution,” using Wilson’s worldwide network of colleagues to find editors in 11 sections, including health, environment, biology and the arts.
“They are passionate in their professional lives and it was easy for them to become passionate about the magazine,” he said.
Evolution: This View of Life went live on Feb. 12: Darwin Day. (“That was the perfect time to launch the website,” Kadar said.) The magazine not only showcases content from science news sources and sites, but Wilson and the other editors provide original content and conduct video interviews.
“David has been able to change people’s views on evolution by showing how it can improve their daily lives,” Kadar said. “I think that’s the best way to influence someone. If you can improve their daily lives, they can become more interested in what you have to say. That’s my model for how to use the magazine.”
Wilson praised Kadar for coming up with a “brilliant idea of starting an online magazine, to do for the general public what EvoS does for higher education.
“Robert has an entrepreneurial streak that comes in handy for a project such as this,” Wilson said. “I know a good idea when I see one, so it has been my pleasure to help Robert make the magazine a reality. It could become a ‘game changer’ in the public perception of evolution.”
Kadar, who serves as founding editor and managing editor of Evolution: This View of Life, hopes to continue strengthening the magazine when he receives his master’s degree in biological anthropology in May. He also wants to continue his education by seeking a doctorate in psychology.
“I never thought I would do anything in evolutionary science,” Kadar said. “I was more interested in history, politics and the rest of the social sciences. This was a huge change in the trajectory I was going on. But it’s been exciting to change and understand new things. Getting that kind of education here has been great and Binghamton University has been great for me. I could not ask for a better place to develop.”