BBC Four announces new series exploring the story of science and Islam
Professor Jim Al-Khalili traces the lives and achievements of the great scientists of the medieval Islamic world in Science And Islam, a new three-part documentary series for BBC Four for 2009.
Modern world understanding of mathematics, optics, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, engineering, cartography and cryptography is indebted to the scholarship of medieval Islamic scientists.
The series will explore the contribution of early Islam to the development of scientific knowledge.
Part travelogue, part science documentary, part observational documentary, Science And Islam is a journey of exploration into the little-known story of the extraordinary Islamic scientific revolution which occurred between 700 and 1250 AD.
Iraqi-born physicist Professor Jim Al-Khalili will explore the extraordinary circumstances which created this revolution in scientific thinking, the places where they occurred as well as the scientists themselves and their achievements.
He will visit the great centres of learning including Cairo, Damascus, Isfahan and Cordoba, and he will begin to get inside the mind of the medieval Islamic scientist while exploring the turbulent history of the times.
This is an intensely personal series for Jim Al-Khalili – it is an exploration of a side of his heritage that he feels he has largely ignored since he left Baghdad when he was 16.
As he travels the tight streets of old medinas to the vast courtyards of grand mosques, Jim discovers the roots of the science he teaches and researches every day for a living.
The series reunites the team behind the critically acclaimed Atom series for BBC Four.
It is an Oxford Scientific Films production for the BBC, produced by Tim Usborne and executive producer Paul Sen.
The series was originally commissioned by Martin Davidson, and the executive producer for the BBC is Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, Independents.
Mark Bell said: "A thousand years ago Islam led the world in science. The story of how this was so, and what happened next, is by turns revelatory and poignant. I am thrilled that Jim Al-Khalili is our guide to this remarkable and often overlooked slice of science history."
Notes to Editors
Oxford Scientific Films is a division of Southern Star Entertainment UK plc.
The series will be distributed internationally by Southern Star International and will launch at MIPCOM 2008.