Skeptic, and Rationalist
Isaac Asimov was unique in America and the world.He was the preeminent popularizer of science in the twentieth century, having authored thousands of articles and approximately five hundred books. Asimov was born on January 2, 1920, in Petrovich, Russia, and brought to the United States by his parents when he was three years old.He lived in Brooklyn, New York, took a B.A. from Columbia University in 1939, and a Ph.D. in 1948. He became a professor of biochemistry at Boston University, though as his writing career developed, he retained his professorship without any teaching duties.
He was best known at first for his science fiction. His first stories were published in 1939, and his first book, Pebble in the Sky, not until 1950. His famous trilogy, Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation, was published in 1952-1953.
A steady stream of books flowed from his pen on a wide range of topics. His popular interpretations of science were especially impressive. He had a prodigious memory. The first drafts of his writings became largely his final drafts, with only a few minor corrections.
Asimov's role as a popularizer and a proponent of science should not be underestimated nor denigrated.Many scientists involved in their own specialties are loath to be known as popularizers, worrying about the barbs of their professional colleagues. Criticisms did not bother Asimov, who willingly assumed the role of educating the public in the methods and outlook of science.In the nineteenth century T. H. Huxley played a similar role in England, especially in defending Darwin and evolution.And in the twentieth century