Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction series Foundation will be coming to HBO soon! The books focus on the use of psychohistory to predict and account for historical events in order to prevent the collapse of galactic civilization. The website io9 has more on the news, as well as an in-depth summary of the first few novels.
I admit I’m not a Foundation fan. I read the first book and found it had not aged well. I can certainly understand how the concept of psychohistory would have impressed readers in the 1950s. However, as a social scientist myself, I just don’t believe that we will be able use social science to predict specific political events hundreds of years into the future. Social sciences can help us analyze political trends, but fare less well at prediction.
I also found some of the characterization one-dimensional. That said, given HBO’s track record with Game of Thrones, I’m actually not worried about this. Good acting can really bring characters to life. HBO will also likely find ways to add more depth and personality to the characters (though hopefully not too much gratuitous sex and gore).
Still, I might just try to read the sequels Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation, before the TV show airs.