What inspired you as a child ?
A child today hopefully seeing the exploits of Elon Musk and Space-X launching and recovering rockets with showmanship seldom demonstrated by serious rocket scientists may have their interest sparked in science and technology?
Personally my love of technology came yes from rocket science, but also crucially from growing up during a golden age of science broadcasting in the 1970’s when well informed specialist correspondents were on our TV screens it seemed every day.
Reginald Turnill, Patrick Moore and Raymond Baxter had both huge experience and knowledge in the fields of aviation and astronautics but were also great story tellers explaining often complex issues without the dumbing down so common today.
For me however the greatest of this generations was James Burke. Watch here his truly breathtaking live commentary of the Apollo 13 re-entry – a masterclass in explaining what is happening to the viewer during an incredibility tense few minutes.
I was too young to really remember Apollo 13 however in 1978 James Burke wrote and presented his seminal series Connections to try and explain how technology had come to play such an important part in society, in the first episode of the series he paraphrased Churchill to make the point as relevant today as it was then…
Never have so many people understood so little about so much…
I loved this series, Burke does a masterful job linking technological developments over 10,000 years to explain the modern world – imagine my joy on finding that the series had be re-released last year and is available on Amazon.
Let me show you why I am so gushing in my praise of James Burke…
Watch below perhaps the greatest “piece to camera” every filmed from Episode 8 of the series, here James Burke explains the connection between the invention of the thermos flask and landing on the moon.
Make sure you watch to the very end !
Eat your heart out Brian Cox !