Jacob Bronowski started his career as a mathematician. He did work in England during the war that aided the Allies in maximizing the effectiveness of their air raids. After a visit to Japan in 1945, during which he studied the effects of the bomb at Nagasaki, he began to devote more of his time to sociological concerns.

One story I heard from a professor at UCSD: When Bronowski came to work at the Salk Institute, Jewish people were not allowed to own homes in La Jolla (the swank San Diego suburb in which the Salk Institute and UCSD are located). He was told by the housing commision that he would need a recommendation. In response he asked what kind of recommendation they would require. They told him, "You'll know."

A week later they received a letter of recommendation from the Queen of England. They subsequently allowed him to purchase a home.