The Bristish Humanist Association are proud to announce that the 2013 Holyoake Lecture in Manchester will be presented by BHA President Jim Al-Khalili on 22 October. The topic will be the forgotten legacy of Arabic science.
In the ninth century, the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, al-Ma'mun, created one of the greatest centres of learning the world had ever seen, known as the House of Wisdom. Focussing on the story of how the scientists and philosophers he brought together sparked a period of extraordinary discovery, launching a golden age of Arabic science, this lecture will cover the next few hundred years which saw great advances in medicine, astronomy, philosophy, mathematics and many other disciplines, and highlight the birth of whole new fields, such as algebra and trigonometry.
This is the forgotten story of one of the most exciting periods in the history of science, full of wonderful characters and geniuses, such as al-Kindi, Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Sina and al-Biruni – names that should be spoken alongside Newton, Galileo and Aristotle. Jim will argue in this talk that the world needs to look at the achievements of these scholars with fresh eyes, and the Arab and Islamic world needs to take greater pride in its rich scientific heritage, far removed from the dogmatic anti-scientific attitudes found so widely in the Islamic world today.