The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds
new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but "That's funny..."
Isaac Asimov was a prolific Russian-born American author of popular science
and science fiction. He published about 500 volumes and is probably best
known for his Foundation trilogy (1951–53) and for his short-story
collection I, Robot (1950) in which he developed a set of ethics
for robots. Asimov received a doctorate in
biochemistry from Columbia University in 1948. He later joined the faculty
of Boston University, with which he remained associated for the remainder
of his life. Among his books on science are Inside the Atom (1956), The Human Brain (1964), The Neutrino (1966), and Our
World in Space (1974).
Asimov frequently discussed the likelihood and possible nature of extraterrestrial
life in his factual books and articles, notably in Extraterrestrial Civilizations1 (1979) but, with one exception, avoided the topic completely in his novels.
Only in The Gods Themselves2 (1972) do they play a major
role and then to the extent that they are "among the most fascinating and
believable aliens yet imagined in science fiction."3
Asimov, Isaac. Extraterrestrial Civilizations. New York: Crown
Asimov, Isaac. The Gods Themselves. New York: Fawcett Crest
Gunn, James. Isaac Asimov: The Foundations of Science Fiction.
Oxford: Oxford University Press (1982).