According to Asimov, the premise was based on ideas set forth in Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and was invented spontaneously on his way to meet with editor John W.
Campbell, with whom he developed the concepts of the collapse of the Galactic Empire, the civilization-preserving Foundations, and psychohistory.
It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966.
Asimov began adding to the series in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation, Forward the Foundation.
The idea is the one developed in Robots of Dawn, which, in addition to showing the way that the second wave of settlements were to be allowed, illustrates the benefits and shortcomings of the first wave of settlements and their so-called C/Fe (carbon/iron, signifying humans and robots together) culture.
In this same book, the word psychohistory is used to describe the nascent idea of Seldon's work.
Using the laws of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale.