AboutAsia and Science Series: in association with the Royal Society's 350th anniversary celebrations in 2010
For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. In his compelling, inspiring new book, Jim al- Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world. All scientists have stood on the shoulders of giants and modern historical accounts suggest that the achievements of the ancient Greeks were not matched until the European Renaissance in the 16th century. In the ninth-century, however, the Abbasid caliph of Baghdad, Abu Ja'far Abdullah al-Ma'mun, created the greatest centre of learning the world had ever seen, known as Bayt al-Hikma, the House of Wisdom. The scientists and philosophers he brought together sparked a period of extraordinary discovery, in every field imaginable, launching a golden age of Arabic science. Professor Jim Al-Khalili is an Iraqiborn theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster.