In a bid to shed light on the often overlooked Muslim contribution to the history of science, long-term trustee and supporter of Foundation for Science (FSTC), Technology and Civilisation, Professor Jim al-Khalili, presented the 2014 Voltaire Lecture based on ‘Lessons from the past: science and rationalism in medieval Islam’, Tuesday, April 15th 2014.
In a bid to shed light on the often overlooked Muslim contribution to the history of science, long-term trustee and supporter of Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), Professor Jim al-Khalili, presented the 2014 Voltaire Lecture based on ‘Lessons from the past: science and rationalism in medieval Islam’, Tuesday, April 15th 2014.
Figure 1: BHA President Jim Al-Khalili delivering 2014 Voltaire Lecture (Source)
Professor Jim al-Khalili, a British theoretical nuclear physicist, professor at University of Surrey, and academic author and broadcaster, took the audience on a journey of the golden age of science in the Muslim world dating from the 7th to 17th century. From the irreplaceable contributions made by polymaths such as Ibn al-Haytham to other scientists who flourished within and without Baghdad’s celebrated Bayt al-Hikma (The House of Wisdom), Professor Jim al-Khalili did not fail to captivate the audience’s attention.
Although scientists prospered during these 1000 years of scientific, technological and civilisational advances, Professor Jim al-Khalili set out to look at why the Muslim world today produces so few scientists in comparison. However, he concluded on a positive reflection that scientists in the contemporary Muslim world, though not as abundant as they once were, are once again beginning to thrive, albeit, in isolated bubbles of academia.
Figure 2: Professor Jim Al-Khalili, British Theoretical Nuclear Physicist, Academic, Author and Broadcaster, browsing through the book
“1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World” (Source).
For more information about this lecture, please visit the BHA website.
It may also interest you to visit the following Muslim Heritage articles authored or concerning Professor Jim al-Khalili:
- Professor Jim al-Khalili: The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science
- Remembering the Language of History and Science: When the World Spoke Arabic
- It's Time to Herald the Arabic Science That Prefigured Darwin and Newton
- Science and Rationalism in 9th Century Baghdad
- Jim Al-Khalili in an Interview with New Scientist: Islam's House of Wisdom will Rise Again
- Statement of Professor Jim Al-Khalili in the Opening Session
Figure 3: Prof Jim Al-Khalili together with Prof Salim Al-Hassani, President of FSTC, at BHA 2013 Hollyoake Lecture (Source)