I was too young to see The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski when it was first broadcast. But I am definitely old enough to shake my head and tut sadly about the appalling decline in standards of science programming since my youth. Look at this for a profound and thought-provoking example of engaging with the audience without the slightest sign of patronising its collective intellect.
This reminds me of a fascinating conversation I had with my friend the artist Ruth Maclennan about her work We saw it – like a flash which looks at the presentation of science on BBC television between 1954 and 2003. She confirmed, from her experience of watching hundreds of hours of such programmes, that the standard has indeed declined alarmingly over the years.
I came across the link for this powerful piece of programming on Pharyngula, part of the Seed Media Group : Science is Culture, and whilst poking around also found the excellent blog SEED – seeking dialogue between art and science which despite its name is not as far as I can work out connected to the Media Group.