March 31, 2006 "Islamic Science and the Making of Renaissance Europe" Will Be Subject of Lecture April 27

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

George Saliba, senior distinguished visiting scholar in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, will discuss “Islamic Science and The Making of Renaissance Europe” at the Library at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, sponsored by the Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Saliba’s illustrated talk will explore the scientific ideas that passed from the Islamic world to the European Renaissance during the 15th and 16th centuries. He will show the connection between mathematical innovations produced in the Islamic world and mathematical astronomy during the Renaissance. Saliba will rely on evidence that was culled from copies of original Arabic scientific manuscripts and their Latin counterparts.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington named Saliba to a 10-month post as a Kluge scholar last July. Saliba is professor of Arabic and Islamic science in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. He received a master’s degree in Semitic languages and a doctorate in Islamic sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. Saliba has been a professor at Columbia since 1979.

Saliba has received numerous awards, fellowships and honors, including the History of Science Prize given by the Third World Academy of Science in 1993, and the History of Astronomy Prize in 1996 from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. Among his publications are “Rethinking the Roots of Modern Science: The Role of Arabic Manuscripts in European Libraries” (1999) and “The Origins and Development of Arabic Scientific Thought” (1998).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000. The center brings leading scholars together with key Washington policymakers to discuss important world issues, drawing on the Library’s incomparable national and international collections. For information about the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the Kluge Center, visit


PR 06-074
ISSN 0731-3527