Year : 2011 | Volume
: 4 | Issue : 10 | Page : 44--45
Head of the Editorial Team,
Head of the Editorial Team
|How to cite this article:|
Swire C. Editorial.Young Scientists J 2011;4:44-45
|How to cite this URL:|
Swire C. Editorial. Young Scientists J [serial online] 2011 [cited 2013 Jun 19 ];4:44-45
Available from: http://www.ysjournal.com/text.asp?2011/4/10/44/92192
The Young Scientists Journal is going to run a competition with the theme, 'The Dark Ages'. We are looking for articles about many scientific advances occurring in the East during the so-called Dark Ages, which were actually a very fruitful time in the Muslim world. This theme is based on The 1001 Inventions Exhibition, and some ideas for topics are detailed below.
The 1001 Inventions Exhibition, which acts to educate people about the advances in all types of technology by the Muslim communities that were going on during the so-called 'Dark Ages', was started by a group called FSTC, which is based in Manchester. It,initially,wasa smaller exhibition in 2006, funded by a range of sponsors, which travelled the UK and had great success. Due to this, a decision was made to develop the exhibition even further, and tour internationally. Scholars and scientists from all over the world have verified the information collected for the exhibition, which was in The Science Museum from the 21 st January until the 30 th June 2010, and proved to be the most successful temporary exhibition there ever. Around 10,000 people visited the exhibition per week, which is now going to Turkey, and then America.
The exhibition comprises of various stations with information on advances on a diverse selection of subjects.It puts a lot of emphasis on the idea that the objects we use now only exist due to the discoveries made by the Muslim civilizations during the 'black hole in history' between 700 and 1700 AD.
The exhibition is divided into about six sections, each dealing with a different topic:
There is one dedicated to mechanical technology, which featured the famous elephant clock and the Banu Musa brothers' trick flask.Another focused on education, explaining about the libraries full of handwritten books, and universities - one of which (Al-Qarawiyin in Morocco) still functions today.Industries such as glassmaking, papermaking, and distillation are described - all paid for in early currencies, such as cowry shells in the Maldives.Many medical methods and tools that we still rely were used in these societies, such as scalpels, drills, and forceps. Although William Harvey is credited with the discovery of the blood circulatory system, he was only elaborating on the recently-translated works of Ibn Nafis, who lived in Syria in the 13 th century.Architecture since the Dark Ages has been greatly influenced by the designs and fashions of the Middle East.The study of the starswas something that greatly interested the Muslims, and many of the constellations still studied today were identified and named by these civilizations.
One of the highlights of the exhibit is a short video featuring Sir Ben Kingsley, which demonstrates the aim of the exhibition: To educate people about the Arabic world and its heritage, which is publically ignored in comparison to Ancient Egyptian or Roman life. The video introduces some of the main characters featured in the exhibition, such as 'Abbas Ibn Firnas, the first person to attempt to construct a flying machine, and Abul al-Zahrawi, one of the most famous Muslim surgeons of his time.
There are many interactive elements to the exhibition, such as a room where you can place the constellations in the sky by pointing your hand, as well as many interactive boards.These include an exhibit to link up words in our language that are derived from Arabic sources, such as the word 'giraffe' which came from the Arabic 'Zarafa', and 'sofa' which stems from the word 'suffah', meaning 'long bench'.
Although nearly every conceivable aspect of modern life has been directly influenced by the discoveries and inventions made by the Muslims in these times, only a limited number of examples could be presented in the exhibition, but the book, Muslim Heritage in Our World, gives full justice to the scale of the research that has gone into the project.