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Science and Islam: A History
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Science and Islam: A History

(Icon Science)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Today it is little acknowledged that the medieval Islamic world paved the foundations for modern science and the scientific institutions that now form part of our everyday world. The author provides an enlightening and in-depth exploration into an empire's golden age, its downfall and the numerous debates that now surround it.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 15th 2010 by Icon Books, Ltd. (first published May 15th 2006)
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Ayman Fadel
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ehsan Masood (Twitter) produced a BBC documentary on Islam and science. This book is its companion. It's excellent as a survey introduction to this topic in the history of science. It discusses multiple causes of historical phenomenon and the predominant historiography and its dissenters.

As in any work of history presented to the public, the academic academician, or even the humble ABD history student such as myself, can find weaknesses. But the wider public is not reading and watching our fasci
Catherine Evans
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting survey of the topic, but trying to cover eight centuries of history and thought in a single, compact hardcover means that it can only ever skim the surface of of the subject as a whole and the topics within it.

I read this book as research/inspiration for a fiction project but because it's so frantically trying to convey names and dates it doesn't have time to really get much further, so didn't get me thinking as much as I'd have liked. The most interesting section in that respect
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book for getting the basics about the Islam and how its contribution to science went completely forgotten or dismissed. It is also a good refresh to history notions and in the end a good basis for understanding today's problems of the Islamic world.
Mo F
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
The premise of the book was a lot better than the execution, unfortunately.
Jemima Pett
A swift overview of the science credentials of Islam during its height, before the Mongols invaded... bookended with discussions of the interactions between government, religion and scientific education/support. I'd have like more in the middle of the sandwich. Maybe that's the difficult part to find adequate citations for.
Mohan Rao
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Why did science stagnate in islamic cultures?
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
try to read up to page six and see whether you'd like it or love it.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
A very short and easy read, meant to accompany a BBC short series. As such, it is not very impressive academically and if you are a little knowleadgeble in the field, you won't find a lot of new info. If have no idea about the topic of Islamic science, it will give you a taste of it, albeit superficially. The last chapter is good for asking some interesting questions, but the attempt to answer them is half-hearted at best. Anyway, the book does not pretend or aim to be more than it is - a long p ...more
Zen Cho
Apr 04, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this but it didn't really go into depth on anything -- jumped between periods and subject matter in a way I found a bit confusing. Its strength was anecdotes. Worth reading if you need convincing that Islamic scholars came up with brilliant scientific innovations, and as an introduction to the subject, but for a proper history of science and Islam I think you'd need to look elsewhere.
Evander v
As it is a companion to a television series, it wasn't as in depth as I would have liked, in sections, but it was very informative nonetheless, and does much to combat the view that the Dark Ages produced nothing of academic merit. Everyone who knows the names of scientists like Newton and Copernicus should also know those of al-Khwarizmi, al-Tusi, Hunayn, and ibn al-Haytham.
Robin Marwick
Jan 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, non-fiction
I got this out of the library after catching the tail end of the TV series of the same name. It's an interesting and engaging read but somewhat lightweight. Maybe that's inevitable given the huge scope of the topic, but I often found myself wishing for more depth and detail on the many fascinating scientists and discoveries mentioned.
Razi Shaikh
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Not exactly comprehensive or scholarly. If you're looking for a very brief overview, this book may suffice. But that's about it. For a more detailed perspective, the accompanying documentary or perhaps Jim Al-Khalili's book and his Al-Jazeera series would be better.
Noran Azmy
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A short, well-written, objective and incredibly interesting history of Islam and cultural/scientific progress in the Muslim Golden Age. It's not very involved, but I think that's a good thing for beginners like me. I think even the most history-averse will still enjoy this book.
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Must read for even beginner level self described scientist of the Muslim world.
Karib Karib
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read Indonesian version...
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just a hint of new paradigm (again)
Sehar  Moughal
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An eye opener. Whoever thinks that no progress was made during the 'Dark Ages', please read this book.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utk peminat sumbangan Islam terhadap pembangunan Sains ini buku wajib. Dari Khawarizmi, Ibn Firnas, Zarqali, Zahrawi hingga kpd Muhammad Abdus Salam.
Oct 21, 2014 rated it liked it
A good book but only skims over the facts ,would have liked it go into more depth.v
Robin Rivers
An excellent examination of the scientific advances made in Islamic culture during the European Dark Ages.
Rosie Duivenbode
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“If anything, the genesis of colleges in the Islamic world seems to have been a way to organise those scholars who were opposed to philosophy and rationalism. Knowledge and science in ancient times were supported by individual patrons and when these patrons changed their priorities, or when they died, any institutions that they might have built often died with them. This is a major reason why no observatory lasted more than 30 years in any of the Islamic empires.” 1 likes
“It is as if the memory of an entire civilisation and its contribution to the sum of knowledge has been virtually wiped from human consciousness. Not simply in the West but in the Islamic world too, the achievements of Islamic scientists were, until recently, largely forgotten or at least neglected, except by a few diligent specialists such as Harvard University’s Abelhamid Sabra, David King, Jamil Ragep and George Saliba.” 1 likes
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