Exploring the Cultural Roots of Science for Social Change
Today 7th March is a World Science Day – To appreciate/celebrate the achievements of all cultures, we would like to share with you an inaugural lecture given by the President of FSTC, Prof Salim Al-Hassani at the National Geographic Museum, Washington DC. The duration of the video is 20 minutes:
What do water fountains, rocket jet packs, and graduation robes all have in common?
Emeritus Professor Salim T.S. Al-Hassani reveals the enduring legacy of Muslim civilization.
The complex of disciplines composed of mathematics, architecture and art in Islamic civilisation has been an important field of recent research. The scholars showed the interaction between mathematical reflexion and procedures and their implementation in designing concrete and symbolic forms in buildings, decoration and design. Furthermore, recent scholarship pointed out the amazing progress that this marriage brought about in prefiguring outstanding mathematical results that scientists proved only in late 20th century. In the following survey, Professor Salim Al-Hassani explores the various facets of this exciting subject that is still full of discoveries to come. By drawing attention to the ongoing debates in scholarly circles among physicicts, mathematicians and historians of science, art and architecture, he shows how the connection between theoretical and applied mathematics was fruitful and creative in the Islamic tradition.
In a seminar organised by the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies in 11 January 2005, aimed at brain-storming the topic of Islam and the Environment, Professor Al-Hassani presented a short overview on the environment issue in Islam as seen from its sources and from history of Muslim practice over a 1000 years of planning and management of natural resources. The following article expands on earlier lectures and contributions made by Professor Al-Hassani including his participation in the conference "Islam and the Environment: Muslim 7 Year Action Plan to deal with Climate Change" held in Istanbul 6-7 July 2009.
The important lecture presented by Professor Salim Al-Hassani at the 15th Euro-Asian Economic Forum held in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey in April 2012 addressed an assembly of eminent political representatives of fifty countries. His focus was on the roots of science as a fundamental fact or in intercultural respect and world peace. Based on the rich experience of FSTC and its mission, Professor Al-Hassani endeavoured to show how the edutainment, academic and electronic works and projects launched and developed by FSTC fill a gap of 1000 years of amnesia and rehabilitates a true view of history in which all nations, communities and cultures participated. His plea is best represented by the call he launched at the end of the lecture to the leaders of the countries participating in this summit "to give a serious thought to using the cultural roots of science and sports to enhance respect and appreciation between their peoples."
Professor Salim Al-Hassani published in the issue 369 (Spring 2012, p. 10) of Runnymede Bulletin (Spring 2012 Runnymede Bulletin - Sport) a short article on "Sports in Muslim Heritage". He argues, notably, that while Europe was in the "Dark Ages", the Islamic world enjoyed a period of high art, science, and sport. During this long period, various forms of Riyadha (sport in Arabic) was widely practiced in the classical Islamic world, and this practice continues intensively in the present.