In 1973, Dr Jacob Bronowski was asked to write and present a documentary BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man, along with an accompanying book. Its subject was the history of human beings through scientific endeavour, and was intended to parallel art historian Kenneth Clark’s earlier “personal view” series Civilisation (1969), which had covered cultural history.
In 1974 when asked by Michael Parkinson what his idea for the future was, Bronowski replied: ‘I have no idea, but I am convinced that human beings take pleasure in work, rather than in idleness. I am convinced that when people are accused of idleness, it just means that they are being accused of hating the hum drum job that doesn’t tax them that they have been put into. So I am convinced that the ideal world for every human being is one in which he or she does a job that they are good at, like doing, and gives them satisfaction. That’s my utopia.’
Today, finding suitable employment for our disenfranchised is one of our major challenges.