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Which clippings match 'History Of Scholarship' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 OCTOBER 2015

Science and Islam: The Islamic Golden Age

"Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science – there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis.

He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry and argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn’t really exist before."




14th century2009 • 8th century • Abbasid Caliphate • Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali • Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi • Al-Farabi • Al-Khwarizmi • Al-Muallim Al-Thani • algebraalgorithm • alkali • Amira Bennison • Ancient GreekArabic scienceastronomy • Averroes • BaghdadBBC Four • Canon of Medicine • chemistry • early medicine • fundamental research • geometry • George Saliba • Greek culture • Greek geometry • Greek mathematics • history of ideashistory of scholarshiphistory of science • House of Wisdom in Baghdad • Ian Stewart • Ibn Arabi • Ibn Khaldun • Ibn Rushd • Ibn Sina • India • Indian texts • Iran • Islamic design • Islamic geometric design • Islamic Golden Age • Islamic mathematics • Islamic patterns • Islamic science • Islamic world • Jim Al-Khalili • language translation • mathematical elegance • medieval Islamic civilisation • medieval Islamic science • middle ages • Muslim territories • Nader El-Bizri • Okasha El Daly • outward-looking culture • patronage • Persian texts • personal journey • Peter Pormann • pioneering engineering • pioneering mathematics • pioneering science • progressive societyrenaissance • repeated geometrical shapes • science and Islam • Science and Islam (2009) • scientific knowledge • Simon Schaffer • SpainSyriatelevision documentary • Thabit ibn Qurrah • The Sabian • The Translation Movement • trigonometry • TunisiaTurkey


Simon Perkins
09 JANUARY 2013

Roberto Busa and the Invention of the Machine-Generated Concord

"This is a story from early in the technological revolution, when the application was out searching for the hardware, from a time before the Internet, a time before the PC, before the chip, before the mainframe. From a time even before programming itself.

Tasman's 1957 prophecy was no shot in the dark. His view of the future was a projection from his recent past. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. had assigned him in 1949 to be IBM liaison and support person for a young Jesuit's daring project to produce an index to the complete writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. First, Tasman's thesis, as subsequent history turned out, was a huge understatement; and second, it essentially defines the first large invention of Father Roberto Busa, S. J., namely, to look at 'tools developed primarily for science and commerce' and to see other uses for them. As will be seen, this was a case of fortune favoring the prepared mind. Redirecting scholarship, he essentially invented the machine–generated concordance, the first of which he had published in 1951.

Father Busa, of course, is best known as the producer of the landmark 56–volume Index Thomisticus. As he began this work in 1946, and produced a sample proof–of–concept, machine–generated concordance in 1951, his professional life spans the entire computing chapter in the history of scholarship. Emphasis in this article will be on the early steps."

(Thomas Nelson Winter, January 1999)

Published in The Classical Bulletin 75:1 (1999), pp. 3–20. Copyright © 1999 Bolchazy–Carducci Publishers, Inc.



1946194919511957 • analytical indexes • automatically analysing • automatically indexing • computing • concordance • concordances • Dead Sea Scrolls • electronic data processing machine • fortune favouring the prepared mind • history of computinghistory of scholarshipIBM • IBM 705 • Index Thomisticus • indexing • International Business Machines Corporation • literary data processing • machine-generated concordance • Paul Tasman • printed works • proof of concept • prophecy • punch cardspunched-card system • rapid compilation • Roberto Busa • science and commerce • St Thomas Aquinas • Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas • technological revolution • Thomas Nelson Winter • Thomas Watson • tools developed for science and commerce


Simon Perkins

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