Story of Muslim science explored in new Science Museum exhibition

A major new exhibition tracing the forgotten story of a thousand years of science from the Muslim world opens at London’s Science Museum later this month.

Running from 21st January to 25th April 2010, 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World is a free exhibition looking at the social, scientific and technical achievements that are credited to the Muslim world, whilst celebrating the shared scientific heritage of other cultures.

The exhibition shows how many modern inventions, spanning fields such as engineering, medicine and design, can trace their roots back to Muslim civilisation.

One of the focal points will be a six-metre high replica of the ‘Elephant Clock’ – an early 13th century clock whose design fuses together elements from many cultures and is featured alongside a short feature film starring Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley as Al-Jazari, inventor of the fabled clock.

Other exhibits featured include a large 3 metre reproduction Al-Idrisi’s 12th-century world map, a model of Zheng He’s Chinese junk ship – originally a 15th century wooden super structure over 100 metres long – and medical instruments from a thousand year ago, many of which are still used today.

Prof. Chris Rapley, Director of the Science Museum, commented: “The thousand year period from the 7th century onwards was a time of exceptional scientific and technological advancement in China, India, Persia, Africa and the Arab world. This is the period in history that gave us huge advances in engineering, the development of robotics and the foundations of modern mathematics, chemistry and physics.””

With over 15,000 objects in our collection spanning many different cultures, the Science Museum provides the perfect context for this exhibition, as a place which encourages innovation and learning amongst visitors of all ages.”

Further information about the exhibition is available at and


  1. Stephanie says

    Most of these “Islamic” discoveries were simply claimed by Muslims, or added upon, after conquering other cultures. And furthermore, the Muslims who did add on were nominally Muslim.