No Monkeyin’ Around

This year’s instalment of the CBC Massey lecture Series is by Neil Turok, one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists. In his lecture The Universe Within, he explores the transformative scientific discoveries of the past three centuries — from classical mechanics, to the nature of light, to the bizarre world of the quantum, and the evolution of the cosmos. Now, he argues, we are on the cusp of another major transformation: the coming quantum revolution that will supplant our current, dissatisfying digital age.

This decidedly upbeat account of mankind and its progress is, at times, the antithesis of A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright's brilliant and hugely successful 2004 Massey Lecture book. This one's a tad more positive not to say that A Short History was devoid of hope for us.

This was the jumping-off point for the exploration an “homage” cover paying tribute to and having some fun with the now iconic cover I designed back in ’04 for A Short History of Progress. The idea was to play the cover the same as SHOF to a tee with just one glaring change. Swapping the disgruntled “he’s turned his back in disgust on the Human race” chimpanzee for a bright-eyed, hope-filled child.

In the end after some deliberation it was decided best to go in a new direction. The final design, a technology influenced human brain transposed upon the cosmos was a reasonably straightforward concept which i treated without bells and whistles with a utilitarian type treatment (personally hearkening back to 1960s Star Trek, a hopeful account of our future) using bright yellow to evoke the positive overtone of the book while at the same time keeping things scientific.

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