The Roving Mind

Front Cover
Prometheus Books, 1983 - Science - 350 pages
Isaac Asimov's death on April 6, 1992, was a great loss to literature, science, and freethought. The vision of one of America's most prolific authors is unmatched today, and his pointed honesty shines through in this fascinating collection of essays, now reissued in this special tribute edition. Asimov demonstrates his extraordinary skill at disseminating knowledge from across the spectrum of scientific disciplines as his "roving mind" ranges from the polemical to the persuasive, from the speculative to the realistic. The sixty-two essays in this volume include such subjects as creationism, the distinction between real science and pseudoscience, censorship, the population explosion, technophobia, the social consequences of technological progress, cloning, the possibility of contacting extraterrestrial life, and the wonders of the cosmos. There are also thoughts on his style of writing, stories about his personal life, and recollections of family history - all written in the clear and elegant prose for which Asimov was noted.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Creationism and the Schools
16
The Blind Who Would Lead
24
Copyright

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About the author (1983)

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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