HG Wells on the Future | BBC broadcasts from the father of science fiction
BBC ARCHIVE DOCUMENT 1942
Reference: Home Talks/PP/GRB
12th December, 1942.
Dear Mr Barnes,
Your letter is rather astonishing. I have been off the air so far as the BBC is concerned since the outbreak of the war, and have talked only for American organisations. But I am quite prepared to put together and say something pithy and broad to the very attractive title you have offered me.
I shall lay stress upon the immense human resources. A federal world exploitation of the deep-lying supplies of phosphates for instance, which have hitherto, been an invincible limiting term to fertility, would change the whole face of human affairs. And so on. But against this immense pressure, we must set our heritage of unimaginative hatreds, ignorant dogmatisms, exploitation and mutual distrust. The most precious material upon which science has to work is human material, and at present we are not making the best of one per cent of humanity. To eliminate this wastage demands an insistence upon the universal rights of man as the fundamental law of any conceivable new world of hope.
This is what I want to say, and I take it this is good enough for your synopsis.
Next, about time. I write slowly and polish carefully. How long can you give me for the completion of my draft? I do not think that I can get it into speakable shape until well on in the New Year.
H. G. Wells
As spoken it seems unlikely that he would agree to speak to the directive and failing that I think we should see that he doesn't [illegible] any particular [illegible] or belief.
Signed R. Maconachie
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Document Type | Letter
12 December 1942
HG Wells is invited to open a new radio series on social biology called 'Reshaping Man's Heritage'. The writer's outline of his proposed address warns against 'our heritage of unimaginative hatreds, ignorant dogmatisms, exploitation and mutual distrust'.
You can hear the subsequent broadcast 'Reshaping Man's Heritage' as part of this collection.
HG Wells on the failings of Stalin's economic 'Five Year Plan'.
Our economic and political lives are 'out of gear'.
How the motor car serves as a warning to us all.
HG Wells challenges the idea of 'Britain for the British'.
A talk on the worldwide community of English speakers.
HG Wells welcomes the former president of Czechoslovakia.
How the printed word has reached the world's entire population.
HG Wells declares that it's time to 'face up to your inheritance'.
The newspaper is 'dead as mutton', says HG Wells.
An invitation to HG Wells to go on air for the first time.
HG Wells agrees to speak about world peace.
Wells reassures the BBC that his broadcast will be objective.
Will HG Wells's broadcast require 'toning down'?
Preparations for a broadcast by HG Wells.
Concerns that Wells has not submitted a manuscript go right to the top.
Wells makes a commitment to objectivity.
Wells responds to an invitation to speak about evolution.
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