Isaac Asimov Essay

Isaac Asimov Essay-64
Two nights ago I braved the bitterly cold weather to check the mail.When I got outside, I looked up into a midnight blue sky, crystal clear in the cold air with stars shimmering brightly, and immediately saw a meteor disintegrate in the upper atmosphere.

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They were written in Asimov’s familiar colloquial style, making it easy for anyone to approach even arcane subjects.

I devoured every one of those essays and it is from those essays that I truly believe that I learned nearly everything I know about science today. Prior to junior high school, I have little memory of any specific science lessons.

The insights this gave me into chemistry went far beyond anything I learned in my formal classes.

In his essay “Life’s Bottleneck” (F&SF, April 1959) he taught me biochemistry in a way that showed the precarious balance of nature and how remarkable it was that just the right conditions existed to support life.

I remembered then that it was about the time of the Germinid meteor shower.

I craned my neck back hoping to catch sight of another meteor, but that was it, the only one I saw.

To think of congressmen or the general public hearing about scientists fooling around, boondoggling, telling dirty jokes, perhaps, at government expense, is to break into a cold sweat.

In fact, the average scientist has enough public conscience not to want to feel he is doing this even if no one finds out.

The former I learned in school; the latter I learned from Isaac Asimov.

Asimov’s essays taught me not only the hows and whys of science, they taught me the of science.


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