Isaac Asimov was one of the greatest science fiction writers in history, as well as a professor of biochemistry and a prolific author of non-fiction. His best loved works include the Foundation series set in the distant future where humans have colonised the galaxy, and a book of interlinked short stories called I, Robot which he developed into an extensive series of humanity and morality tales during the dawn of the robotic era.

Asimov introduced various new words into the English language, like robotics, positronic (a fictional artificial intelligence technology), and psychohistory (another fictional science which combined history, sociology and maths to predict the future). I’m still learning how to draw, which is why he has really scary eyes here. I don’t believe he had eyes this scary.

Isaac Asimov Quotes

Isaac Asimov Quotes

There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

So the universe is not quite as you thought it was? You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then. Because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! but That’s funny…

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.

Maybe happiness is this: not feeling like you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful inquiry that can establish truths of great value.

Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. The only function of a school is to make self-education easier; failing that, it does nothing.

At odd and unpredictable times, we cling in fright to the past.

​I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing – to be clear. I have given up all thought of writing poetically or symbolically or experimentally, or in any of the other modes that might (if I were good enough) get me a Pulitzer prize. I would write merely clearly and in this way establish a warm relationship between myself and my readers, and the professional critics – well, they can do whatever they wish.​

It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people… If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with.

Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket.

I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.

People think of education as something they can finish.

There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.

I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander.

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.

Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know – and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know — even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction — than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.


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