English - Back to main page

Disseminating the Message: From the Futurist to Carl Sagan

The Futurist (April 1975)

The Futurist is a renowned journal on questions of current and future problems of mankind. It calls itself "a journal of forecasts, trends and ideas about the future".

Some other Futurist writers of 1974 were: Herman Kahn of Hudson Institute; Jacques Vallée proposing what we today know as the internet; and Carroll Quigley, the scientific mentor of US-President Bill Clinton. Quigley was famous for his comprehensive modern history book "Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time" (1966).

Presented together with a paper by Gary Mitchell on somatosensory depirvated monkeys, "What Monkeys can tell us about Human Violence", here the whole work of James W. Prescott was for the first time presented to a wider audience: "Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence".

The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists (November 1975)

No group of scientists was more confronted with the survival of mankind than the ones who built the first atomic weapons. Before dropping the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, a large group of scientists involved in the development of the Bomb petitioned the government in favour of a non-lethal public demonstration of its power. They considered the expected human losses as unnessecary and feared the nightmare of a future nuclear arms race. After failing to achieve both, they decided to turn to the public on all further questions regarding the survival of mankind. So their Bulletin was founded.

The Prescott paper in the Futurist was considered so important by them, that still in 1975 the Bulletin also printed it. The publication by the Bulletin perhaps was crucial for disseminating Prescott's work -- because the audience was very different and the Bulletin was known for a background of hard science. Even Carl Sagan only read the article in the Bulletin and also referred to this publication. This second publication was also important because the Bulletin was better known in the whole world than the Futurist.

Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" (1980)

Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was Director of Laboratory for Planetary Studies, physicist and world-famous author. His best-known book about the universe we live in also was the 20th century's best-selling science book in the English language. It summarized the whole history and the future perspectives of mankind. James Prescott is the only living scientist whose work is presented in the final chapter: "Who Speaks for Earth?"

Read Details and Excerpt From Carl Sagan's "Cosmos"

Luigi Valzelli (1981)

In 1981 Raven Press of New York published Luigi Valzelli's "Psychobiology of Aggression and Violence". It was an extraordinary scientific review of the present knowledge on the topic. It contained more than 2,000 references to books and scientific papers. Valzelli mentioned Prescott`s work and saw several supporting facts linking it to evidence found in other papers he got during his 16 years of review. Here the excerpt of page 125 in his Chapter on "The Pathology of Aggression: Violence":

View Excerpt From Luigi Valzelli's "Psychobiology of Aggression and Violence"

American Psychiatric Association (1983)

At the 1983 annual APA meeting Prescott was introduced by Carl C. Bell, M.D. to a scientific lecture. Chairman of the APA Scientific Program was Lester Grinspoon, M.D. of Harvard University Medical School. The announcement of the lecture in the APA newspaper also was a review of Prescott's work by APA.

View Document