Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ray Bradbury - "Minor Poet"

On 10th July 1972, Ray Bradbury​ was the first speaker in a twelve-week series of free lectures entitled Cosmic Evolution: Man's Descent from the Stars at San Francisco's Exploratorium. "I will be participating as a minor poet and sub-minor philosopher," Ray said, "seeking to explain our age and the great three-billion-year age ahead."

By this time, Bradbury had been closely associated with space - partly through his fiction, but more importantly through his non-fiction writings and public speaking.

Other contributors to the lecture series were all scientists, including: Freeman Dyson, who lectured on intelligent life in the universe; Nobel Prize-winning chemist Melvin Calvin, on the origin of life; and Philip Morrison, who concluded the series with "The Context of Mankind: a Summation."

Five years later, Bradbury and Morrison would sit together on a NASA panel with novelist James Michener and explorer Jacques Cousteau, discussing "Why Man Explores". The answer to such a question clearly required not just a scientific answer, but a poetic one.

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