The Roving Mind

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Prometheus Books, Oct 28, 2010 - Philosophy - 349 pages
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Isaac Asimov's death on April 6, 1992, was a great loss to the world of literary science and freethought. The prolific author's vision is unmatched today, and his pointed honesty shines through in The Roving Mind, now reissued in this special tribute edition.This collection of essays is wide-ranging, reflecting Asimov's extraordinary skill in disseminating knowledge from across the spectrum of human thought. Some of the areas explored in this volume of 62 essays include creationism, pseudoscience, censorship, population, philosophy of science, transportation, computers and corporations of the future, and astronomy. His predictions about cloning which has only recently become the topic of public debate the theory of technophobia, and other scientific developments are astounding. In a lighter tone, Asimov includes several personal stories from his life including thoughts on his style of writing and memories of family in younger days.With tributes by Arthur C. Clarke, L. Sprague de Camp, Harlan Ellison, Kendrick Frazier, Martin Gardner, Donald Goldsmith, Stephen Jay Gould, E. C. Krupp, Frederik Pohl, and Carl SaganThe collection is very readable and thus is accessible to a wide audience of nonscientists as well as scientists. Both adults and young people should find it interesting. -The Physics Teacher. . . Asimov's best include pieces detailing the present mysteries of solar astronomy, removing the mythology of cloning (backyard gardners do it all the time), and pointing out deficiencies in the supposed chemistry expertise of Sherlock Holmes. -Nature
 

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Contents

Part E The Religious Radicals
5
Uther Aberrations
33
Little Green Men or Not?
40
Dont You Believe?
43
Open Mind?
47
The Role of the Heretic
49
Population
57
The Good Earth Is Dying
59
Hyperspace
169
Beyond the Universe
175
Life on Earth
183
The Future 38 Transportation and the Future
191
The Corporation of the Future
200
The Future of Collecting
208
The Computerized World
214
The Individualism to Come
228

The Price of Survival
66
Letter to a Newborn Child
72
Opinion 16 Technophobia
77
What Have You Done for Us Lately?
84
Speculation
88
Is It Wise for Us to Contact Advanced Civilizations?
92
16
97
Do We Regulate Science?
104
For Public Understanding of Science
107
Science Corps
110
24
113
Art and Science
116
The Fascination of Science
120
27
127
Explanation 28 The Global Jigsaw
135
The Inconstant Sun
139
The Sky of the Satellites
151
29
153
The Surprises of Pluto
157
Neutron Stars
160
33
162
Faster than Light
165
The Coming Age of Age
237
The Decade of Decision
244
Do You Want to Be Cloned? 25 1
252
The Hotel of the Future
256
The Future of Plants
262
Bacterial Engineering
266
Flying in Time to Come
272
The Ultimate in Communication
278
His Own Particular Drummer
285
The Future of Exploration
295
Homo Obsoletus?
300
Volatiles for the Life of Luna
307
Touring the Moon 3 1 2
312
Life on a Space Settlement
317
Payoff in Space
324
Personal
329
lAm a Signpost
331
The WordProcessor and I
334
6O A Question of Speed
337
A Question of Spelling
340
My Father
344
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia, on January 2, 1920. His family emigrated to the United States in 1923 and settled in Brooklyn, New York, where they owned and operated a candy store. Asimov became a naturalized U.S. citizen at the age of eight. As a youngster he discovered his talent for writing, producing his first original fiction at the age of eleven. He went on to become one of the world's most prolific writers, publishing nearly 500 books in his lifetime. Asimov was not only a writer; he also was a biochemist and an educator. He studied chemistry at Columbia University, earning a B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. In 1951, Asimov accepted a position as an instructor of biochemistry at Boston University's School of Medicine even though he had no practical experience in the field. His exceptional intelligence enabled him to master new systems rapidly, and he soon became a successful and distinguished professor at Columbia and even co-authored a biochemistry textbook within a few years. Asimov won numerous awards and honors for his books and stories, and he is considered to be a leading writer of the Golden Age of science fiction. While he did not invent science fiction, he helped to legitimize it by adding the narrative structure that had been missing from the traditional science fiction books of the period. He also introduced several innovative concepts, including the thematic concern for technological progress and its impact on humanity. Asimov is probably best known for his Foundation series, which includes Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. In 1966, this trilogy won the Hugo award for best all-time science fiction series. In 1983, Asimov wrote an additional Foundation novel, Foundation's Edge, which won the Hugo for best novel of that year. Asimov also wrote a series of robot books that included I, Robot, and eventually he tied the two series together. He won three additional Hugos, including one awarded posthumously for the best non-fiction book of 1995, I. Asimov. "Nightfall" was chosen the best science fiction story of all time by the Science Fiction Writers of America. In 1979, Asimov wrote his autobiography, In Memory Yet Green. He continued writing until just a few years before his death from heart and kidney failure on April 6, 1992.

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