It’s over. And over a week ago at that. But I only finally caught up with the third and last episode of Prof Jim Al-Khalili’s BBC4 series Science and Islam last night.
I flagged it up just before the series started and had been quite excited, having enjoyed Atom, Al-Khalili’s earlier documentary about the hey-day of physics in the early 20th century. It didn’t quite deliver at the outset, although things improved with each episode. The final program was easily the best of the bunch and unearthed some telling detail about the influence of Arabic/Islamic astronomy on Copernicus.
Overall I think it was a worthy effort, though you really can’t get through much material in three hours of telly. I’m tempted by the book (actually written by someone else – Eshan Masood), since it is an important period in history, especially given the current parlous state of relations between the west and the middle east. You can hear more about the Abbasid Caliphs who started of the Islamic Empire on In Our Time.
I would go on but there’s a more considered review of the series on Andreas Forster’s blog. Andreas is a postdoc at Imperial who tells me he is “thinking about” getting started on Nature Network. So how about heading over there to read his piece, leave a comment and encourage him with some of that world-famous NN lovin’?