Between 13 and 17 October 2008, the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) organised two major events in London: a scaled down version of 1001 Inventions Exhibition at the House of Parliament (13-17 October) and a conference Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion at Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House, Westminster, London (15 October 2008).
The conference supported the "1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World" exhibition at UK Houses of Parliament from 13th -17th October and tackled 1000 years of amnesia of Muslim science and technology. Jim Knight MP, the UK Minister for Schools and Learning and Sir Roland Jackson, the Chief Executive of the British Association for the Advancement of Science addressed invited delegates at the ‘Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion' conference.
Figure 2: View of The Palace of Westminster, seat of the Houses of Parliament in London, from the River Thames with the famous Big Ben and its clock on the right of the picture.
Presentations by leading academics and historians countered the 1000 years of historical amnesia which has ignored scientific and technological contributions from other cultures to our present civilization, thus creating a false sense of Euro-centric pride at the expense of other world cultures. The conference examined how addressing this situation can be used as a catalyst to help policymakers promote better cultural understanding and social cohesion today.
The conference Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion was intended to mark the 1001 inventions Exhibition at the House of Parliament: click here to see the announcement of the exhibition.
The conference moderated by Dr Rim Turkmani (Royal Society Research Fellow in Astronomy at University College London), and was attended by a dense audience. Among the attendees were several personalities. A particular mention should be made of the visit of Boris Johnson, the London Lord Mayor.
Bettany Hughes is a historian and broadcaster and has a Visiting Research Fellowship at King's College. Her TV and Radio Programmes for Channel 4 and the BBC include Athens - the Truth About Democracy, When the Moors Ruled Europe, and Seven Ages of Britain. Her most recent book Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore has now been translated into ten languages. She is currently writing a book on Socrates.
Professor Jim Al-Khalili: Science and Rationalism in 9th Century Baghdad
Jim Al-Khalili is a professor of physics at the University of Surrey, he also holds the first Surrey Chair in the Public Engagement of Science. Jim is the author of a number of popular science books and is a regular contributor to radio and television science programmes; he received the Royal Society's Michael Faraday medal and prize for science communication. He is Vice President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Jim received an OBE for services to physics at this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List. He is currently working on a new series for the BBC called Science and Islam and is writing a book on medieval Arabic science to be published by Penguin Press next year.
Professor Roshdi Rashed*: Promoting Science-Based Cultural Dialogue Among Civilizations
Professor Roshdi Rashed: An internationally renowned, Paris based, historian of science who has made many significant contributions to the history of mathematics and science. He has been awarded many honorary degrees and prizes including the Légion d'Honneur from the president of France and Avicenna Gold Medal from the General Director of UNESCO, "for his contribution to recognition of Islamic culture as a part of universal scientific heritage and for promoting the dialog among different cultures". He has occupied various prestigious positions in international scientific organizations.
Dr Charles Savage: Standing Tall - Building upon our Common Heritages
Dr. Charles Savage is the president of Knowledge Era Enterprising. He writes, consults and speaks widely in the United States, Asia and Europe. His book, Fifth Generation Management, has been widely acclaimed and translated into Japanese and Korean. Dr Savage works with managers and senior executives helping them to improving their knowledge strategy, organizational culture, market responsiveness and customer focus. He has a wide range of publications on management and knowledge leadership.
Professor Steve Hutchings: Centre for Muslim Civilisation in our world
Stephen Hutchings is Professor of Russian Studies, Director of Research and Deputy Head of School at the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures, University of Manchester. He is currently Principal Investigator on a large 3-year grant project looking at European Television Representations of Islam as Security Threat in Russia, France and the UK. He recently hosted at Manchester an international conference on Representing Islam: Comparative Perspectives.
Professor Salim Al-Hassani: 1000 years Amnesia and the Identity Crisis
Previously Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manchester and currently professorial fellow in the School of Languages Linguistics and Cultures. He is an acknowledged world expert in his field and has received numerous awards. His special interest is the Muslim Scientific Heritage in our world. He is Chairman of the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation, publisher of www.MuslimHeritage.com, and founder of the 1001 Inventions global education initiative. Chief Editor of more than 300 publications on Muslim Heritage including the ground breaking book 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in our World.
Michael H Morgan: Building Peace, by Recovering Lost History
Award-winning former diplomat Michael Hamilton Morgan is both a novelist and nonfiction author. Morgan is also founder and President of New Foundations for Peace, a non-profit organisation created to teach leadership skills to young people worldwide. Among his works are Collision with History: the Search for John F. Kennedy's PT 109, a book and TV documentary and Lost history the Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists which has been widely acclaimed.
Paul Keeler: Golden web: The interaction of Civilisations
Paul Keeler was the founder and Director of the World of Islam Festival that took place in London and the UK in 1976. The festival brought together all the major museums, libraries, universities, and learned societies engaged in Islamic studies in a great celebration of the arts and civilization of Islam. Paul Keeler is currently the Director of the Golden Web Foundation, which is engaged in developing a new kind of Web project dedicated to the study of the pre-modern Afro-Eurasian world.
Dr. Suhair H. Al-Qurashi, the Dean of Dar Al-Hekma College, is a tireless promoter of education. She has created a group of competent, entrepreneurial women who are showing Saudi society that nothing will stop them. She holds three advanced degrees, including a doctorate and a masters in education from Cambridge.
Ian Fenn: Curriculum Enrichment and Social Cohesion
Dr Ian Griffin is Chief Executive of The Oxford Trust, Charity, founded by Sir Martin Wood to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise in Oxfordshire. Prior to his present position, Ian served as Director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, which was the first organisation to stage the '1001 Inventions' exhibition in 2006.
Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House. Dean's Yard, Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ. For the PDF version of the conference programme, please click here.
Announcements of the conference Muslim Heritage in our World: Social Cohesion and the 1001 Inventions Exhibition at the House of Parliament were published also on the website of 1001 Inventions Initiative: click here and here.
* Professor Rashed was unable to attend the conference; a review of his speech was read by Dr Anne-Maria Brennan and the text of his speech handed out to audience.
by: FSTC Limited
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