Originally posted by dandelion: This is new, sorta...
Yes, it is. I was going to post that today, but you beat me to it. For anyone who hasn't clicked on the link, it's a video of Ray speaking directly to camera about his vision of the future. Most of it is quite familiar, but what I like about it particularly is that he re-tells the story of "The Toynbee Convector" and quite explicitly identifies himself with the time-traveller of the story. It's always been quite obvious that the story was a metaphor for Ray's optimistic outlook, but he didn't often make this association so clearly.
I think he was comfortable with this position from the beginning of the space age (i.e. post-Sputnik). There are articles he wrote for newspapers around this time where he proudly declares how SF has been validated.
If he was ever hostile to the label, it was in his earlier career when he was trying to shake off the "stigma" of being a pulp writer when trying to break into the "slicks" and into book publication.