HG Wells on the Future | BBC broadcasts from the father of science fiction

Communications 1922-1932 | HG Wells

How the motor car serves as a warning to us all.

CHANNEL | National Programme

FIRST BROADCAST | 19 November 1932

DURATION | 2 minutes 44 seconds

FIRSTBROADCAST

1932

Synopsis

In this short extract from a longer talk, HG Wells calls for the appointment of 'professors of forethought' to explore the implications of the development of new inventions and devices. Wells chooses as an example the rapid spread of the motor car, which, in his view, has had serious consequences for modern life that have taken society by surprise. He believes that now is the time to create a faculty of professors who can prepare the country for the changes that advances in technology will inevitably bring.

Did you know?

The picture above shows HG Wells on the set of the 1936 film dramatisation of his novel 'Things to Come'. In the background, a dummy hangs out from the reconstructed wreckage of a fatal motor-car accident.

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Documents

Letter to HG Wells from the BBC.

Letter to HG Wells from the BBC

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

An invitation to HG Wells to go on air for the first time.

Letter to HG Wells thanking him for his promise to broadcast on the BBC.

Letter to HG Wells thanking him for his promise to broadcast

WRITTEN 1929
2 Pages

HG Wells agrees to speak about world peace.

A note by HG Wells on his 'World peace' broadcast of 1929.

HG Wells on his 'World peace' broadcast of 1929

WRITTEN 1929
2 Pages

Wells reassures the BBC that his broadcast will be objective.

Memo from Hilda Matheson to John Reith regarding HG Wells broadcast.

Memo from Hilda Matheson to John Reith regarding HG Wells broadcast

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

Will HG Wells's broadcast require 'toning down'?

Letter from Hilda Matheson to Dame Rachel Crowdy.

Letter from Hilda Matheson to Dame Rachel Crowdy

WRITTEN 1929
1 Page

Preparations for a broadcast by HG Wells.

Memo concerning HG Wells's Russian Talk.

Memo concerning HG Wells's Russian Talk

WRITTEN 1931
1 Page

Concerns that Wells has not submitted a manuscript go right to the top.

Memo about interview with HG Wells prior to Russian broadcast.

Record of Interview with HG Wells prior to Russian broadcast

WRITTEN 1931
1 Page

Wells makes a commitment to objectivity.

A letter from HG Wells to the BBC.

Letter from HG Wells to the BBC

WRITTEN 1942
1 Page

Wells responds to an invitation to speak about evolution.

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