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Friday, May 16, 2008

Scientist Appreciation: Isaac Asimov

Most people do not remember Isaac Asimov as a scientist. There are probably a great many who do not even realise that he was a scientist. However, he did have a doctorate in biochemistry and spent a long period of his life as a professor associated with the Boston University School of Medicine. Although he was not personally responsible for any drastically sweeping scientific work that I am aware of, he is the subject of scientist appreciation for this week to honour his vast contribution to scientific literature. This contribution was mainly in the generalist category of popular science, but I think it is significant nonetheless. His writing was beautifully clear, succinct, and engaging, making it some of the easiest to read and most interesting science writing. His promotion of rationalism and love of knowledge was of great importance to my own intellectual development, and, I believe, judging by the quantity of books he published and sold it was significant to many others as well. I therefore wanted to make the point with this week's instalment of Scientist Appreciation that there are many ways a person can contribute to the furthering of science, and educating others to appreciate science is one such vital aspect.