50,000 years from now Mankind will spread throughout the galaxy, united in a great Galactic
Empire. That is the premise behind the Foundation series of books by science-ﬁction author
Isaac Asimov. Asimov introduces a character named Hari Seldon into this speculative future
version of the Roman Empire in space. Seldon creates the science of Psychohistory.
Psychohistory depends on the idea that, while one cannot foresee the actions of a particular
individual, the laws of statistics as applied to large groups of people could predict the general
ﬂow of future events.
Using the science of psychohistory, Seldon foresees the collapse of the Empire. Using this
foreknowledge, he assembles an ark of humanity called The Foundation, the future
equivalent of the monastic settlements off the coast of Ireland and Scotland where our
knowledge of the science of the ancient world was preserved throughout the Dark Ages.