Anyone here read Al Khalili’s “House of Wisdom”?

Anyone here read (or listened to) Al Khalili’s “House of Wisdom”?
The content of that book could make for a fun discussion.

“The House of Wisdom, How the Arabic science saved ancient knowledge and gave us the Renaissance.” (2012)

New York Journal of Books provides an interesting over view of the book. offers a PDF.

There’s also this informative talk Al Khalili gave in 2013.

Humanists UK, posted at YouTube, April 16, 2014

The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science

British Humanist Association Holyoake Lecture 2013 presented by theoretical physicist and president of the British Humanist Association, Professor Jim Al-Khalili.

Here’s a short cut to the book.
He’s a pretty good storyteller, so fun to listen to, and it’s really fascinating stuff, if the evolution of knowledge is one of your things. :wink:

you game ?

I do like Kahlili and his thoughts on the Islamic golden age. Also, I’ve a couple half read books at the moment.

:+1:t2: Agreed. I’ve also liked Kahlili’s physics explorations, very accessible and he doesn’t fly off into the sorts of speculative fancies, that drive me to irritation.

I’d meant to do more with his thread by putting together a bit of a book report, but my time for stuff like that is too limited, . . . and then James Poskett came along and blew me outta the water with his “Horizons, The Global Origins of Modern Science.”

I’m glad I listen to (then read) Kahlili’s book first and would recommend that sequence to others. Kahlili goes into fascinating detail about Islamic scientific thinkers of the past. He weaves together a fascinating story that puts the achievements of today’s science into a much more realist framework.

Where Kahlili dedicated himself to highlight Islamic contributions, Poskett goes further a field to touch on every corner of our globe, and further into our past, introducing us to the scientific understanding aboriginals possessed, and how they had at least as much to do with the western age of discovery and enlightenment, as the plundering murders that sailed in on their ships.

In my youth those “explorers” and “adventures” were my heroes. It was weird, as a young adult, getting “woked” to the fact of what kinds of human monsters of greed run a muck that they actually were. Looking around these days and being witness to where it’s all lead us, it’s no wonder we’re such a disaster. Oh but I’m rambling.

Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science Hardcover – March 22, 2022

by James Poskett

“A radical retelling… Poskett deftly blends the achievements of little-known figures into the wider history of science… The book brims with clarity.”—Financial Times

The history of science as it has never been told before: a tale of outsiders and unsung heroes from far beyond the Western canon that most of us are taught.

When we think about the origins of modern science we usually begin in Europe. We remember the great minds of Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. But the history of science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavor. Copernicus relied on mathematical techniques that came from Arabic and Persian texts. Newton’s laws of motion used astronomical observations made in Asia and Africa. When Darwin was writing On the Origin of Species, he consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopedia. And when Einstein studied quantum mechanics, he was inspired by the Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose.

Horizons is the history of science as it has never been told before, uncovering its unsung heroes and revealing that the most important scientific breakthroughs have come from the exchange of ideas from different cultures around the world. In this ambitious, revelatory history, James Poskett recasts the history of science, uncovering the vital contributions that scientists in Africa, America, Asia, and the Pacific have made to this global story.