Thursday, July 2, 2020

Isaac Asimov Centenary

Environmental & Science Education
History of Science
Edward Hessler

I don't read much science fiction but know that Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992) was one of the giants. 
This year is the centenary of his birth. Not only was he a writer, he was a great explainer but also a scientist (a chemist/biochemist) as well as a professor of biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine. He wrote or edited more than 500 books during his life as well as numerous essays. The word total is some 20 million words.

There is an essay about him and his career in Nature on the occasion of the centenary. Here is a quote from the article by David Leslie, which was published in his "gemlike essay 'Art and Science' the artist's work suffers if knowledge is deficient; the scientist's subbers if leaps of intuition, which so often outpace the leaden trot of rationality, are ignored. Advance in these arenas is often synergistic, and scientists can 'make great leaps into new realms of knowledge by looking upon the universe with the eyes of artists.'"
Asimov is well-known for his three laws of robotics. The Wiki entry includes a link to a famous cartoon by Randall Monroe, creator of XQCD on why Asimov put them in the order he did.

Asimov Online has a comprehensive collection of resources to all things Asimov.

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