Revealing scientific innovations of the Golden Age of Islam
The Tech Museum in San Jose pulled back the proverbial curtain on one of the world’s most pioneering civilizations recently revealing an incredible exhibition ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ that boldly underlines the remarkable contributions of Muslim scholars from the Golden Age of Islam (700 – 1700 CE) in science and technology.
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Guest speakers at the opening included the renowned essayist, playwright, attorney and humorist Wajahat Ali, Exhibition creator Ludo Verheyen, CEO of MTE Studios of Dubai U.A.E and Cape Town, South Africa, San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo and The Tech Museum Board Chair Ann Bowers. The Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Order of America took to the stage to perform the cultural whirling dance enchanting with soft, melodic sounds of the youth choir – dressed in ethnic garb – from the Muslim Community Association during the media preview of ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’. Media along with the guests had a preview and tour with exhibition creator, Ludo Verheyen.
Ann Bowers said, “Couple of years ago she was traveling overseas when she saw the ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ exhibition and was surprised out how little she knew about the Islamic Golden Age and its thinkers influence on modern medicine, mathematics, astronomy and more. Today the display at The Tech Museum is a far enhanced version of the previous exhibition.”
The dawn of the Islamic Golden Age in the 7th century was profoundly inspired by the instruction to seek and share knowledge. The 40-station, multi-media exhibition highlights how Muslims worked harmoniously alongside people of different faiths and races across Africa, Asia and Europe. The blockbuster exhibition ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’ covers the main fields of Islamic scientific endeavor including architecture, arts, astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, mathematics, medicine, optics and water control in a beautifully designed on a journey back through time.
“Islamic Science Rediscovered” is meant to focus on increasing knowledge and understanding of the many invaluable contributions that have come from the Islamic world, ” MTE Studios CEO Ludo Verheyen, said. “In addition to its potential to edify visitors, this exhibition powerfully encourages the building of bridges between all cultures and offers new perspectives.”
Centuries before Orville and Wilbur Wright took flight, Abbas ibn Farnas was soaring over the hilly Spanish countryside in a one-man glider – a thousand years before the famed Wright flight in North Carolina. Al-Jazari busied himself laying the foundations of modern engineering and writing the Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices in 1206, where he described fifty mechanical devices along with instructions on how to build them. And Al-Khwarizmi had his sights set on the skies, launching the pioneering method of study and calculations for planetary movements.
The exhibit features displays that show how early Muslim thinkers from Cordoba, Spain tried to explain the flight of birds, while thinkers in Damascus decades ago pondered over mathematics and how to tally numbers.
Essayist and humorist Wajahat Ali, who was one of the featured speakers as an accompanying lecture series to go with the exhibit said, “The display is one step in helping Americans rediscover their moral compass by understanding a history they may not know.”
Some will debate whether Islamic civilization introduced the concept of zero to the world but there is no disputing that the San Jose Tech Museum is taking a bold step in hosting its newest exhibit, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’.
Researched and developed by Dubai and Cape Town based MTE Studios, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ the global touring exhibition has been to various venues in the last few years including Liberty Science Centre in New Jersey, Ontario Science Centre and The TELUS World of Science in Canada, where it garnered wide attention and accolades.
About ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ (‘Sultans of Science’):
‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’ is a global touring exhibition celebrating the contribution of Muslim Scholars in Science and Technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World and the influence their inventions and contributions has towards modern society.
Focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of these invaluable contributions, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ has been created as a global traveling exhibition in order to enable its message to be far reaching through science centers and museums around the world.
The content features interactive displays with information on inventions, innovations and discoveries covering a broad spectrum of science topics such as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, optics amongst others, which were ahead of its time. Visit http://www.sultans-of-science.com for more information.
About MTE Studios:
MTE Studios is a specialized consultancy firm focused on themed architecture and interactive learning experiences. The firm designs, prototypes and manufactures inspiring interactive exhibits for science centers, museums, shopping malls and corporate environments.
MTE Studios translates unique residential, commercial, educational and leisure projects into stimulating lifescapes. Its scope of services ranges from creating a storyline, concept and detail design, documentation, project management and art direction during construction. MTE’s portfolio of completed projects includes museums, shopping malls, theme parks, FEC’s and residential developments.
With offices in Dubai, UAE and Cape Town, South Africa, MTE Studios has an interdisciplinary team of over 50 specialists, including architects, art directors, artists, engineers and interactive designers from over 12 countries. Visit www.mtestudios.com for more information
About Tech Museum:
The Tech Museum is a hands-on science and technology institution designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought, and inspire action. Ensconced in the heart of Silicon Valley, the museum captures the spirit of the region through innovative content and programs such The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and the internationally renowned The Tech Awards, which recognizes technology to benefit humanity. Daily, The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of pioneering ideas for a more promising future.
Image 01 – ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’, global travelling exhibition at The Tech Museum (Image supplied by MTE Studios)
Image 02 – ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’, global travelling exhibition at The Tech Museum (Image supplied by MTE Studios)