Bronowski was the presenter of the BBC television documentary series,
The Ascent of Man which inspired Carl Sagan's Cosmos series. As
a student at Jesus College, Cambridge, he co-edited - with William
Empson - the literary periodical Experiment which first appeared
had a Ph.D. in algebraic geometry, and was a poet (he lived near
to Laura Riding and Robert Graves in Majorca in the 1930s). He
spent the war in Operations Research; afterwards he became Director
of Research for the National Coal Board (UK). After his experiences
as an official observer of the after-effects of the Nagasaki and
Hiroshima bombings he turned to biology, as did his friend, Leo
Szilard, to better understand the nature of violence. He was an
Associate Director of the Salk Institute from 1964.
is the father of the British academic Lisa Jardine.
masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why
science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked
for no spell to cast over nature."
is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they
are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information
is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility."
"It is often
said that the progression from simple to complex runs counter
to the normal statistics of chance that are formalized in the
Second Law of Thermodynamics. Strictly speaking, we could avoid
this criticism simply by insisting that the Second Law does not
apply to living systems in the environment in which we find them.
For the Second Law applies only when there is no overall flow
of energy into or out of a system, whereas all living systems
are sustained by a net inflow of energy."