Salman Hameed

Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities
Hampshire College Professor Salman Hameed
Contact Salman

Mail Code CS
Salman Hameed
Adele Simmons Hall 218
413.559.6160

Salman Hameed is Charles Taylor Chair and associate professor of integrated science and humanities in the School of Cognitive Science. He is also the director of Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS). He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from New Mexico State University at Las Cruces and a B.S. in physics and astronomy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

His primary research interest focuses on understanding the reception of science in the Muslim world and how Muslims view the relationship between science and religion. Professor Hameed recently led a 4-year National Science Foundation funded study on the reception of biological evolution in diverse Muslim societies. He is also leading a study to understand and analyze the discourse and participants in online Islam and Science videos. His other research interests include analyzing reconciliation efforts over sacred objects and places of astronomical importance. His past astronomy research focused on understanding star formation in spiral galaxies.

He has taught courses on "Evolution, Islam, and Modernity," "Science in the Muslim world," "Creating science fiction short films using real science" (with Dr. Jason Tor), "Science and Religion: Biological evolution in the public sphere," "Aliens: Close Encounters of a Multidisciplinary Kind" and "History and Philosophy of Science and Religion" (with Dr. Laura Sizer) at Hampshire College. Salman also runs Irtiqa, a science and religion blog with an emphasis on scientific debates taking place in the Muslim world, hosts an online astronomy video series in Urdu, Science ka Adda, and has a regular astronomy segment for the Bill Newman show on WHMP and for Monte Belmonte on WRSI 93.9.

Personal Website

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This course can be summed up as: everything you wanted to know about aliens but were afraid to ask (a scientist). The course will explore the topic of extraterrestrial intelligence from the perspective of several different fields. We will look at the history of UFO sighting claims and analyze the reliability of eye-witness testimonies, explore psychological & sociological reasons behind claims of alien abductions, and analyze the current state of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) from the perspective of astronomy and planetary research. We will also examine how film and television have shaped our view of aliens in popular culture. We will conclude the course by looking at religions that have been inspired by UFOs and extraterrestrials. This course is affiliated with the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative (LC). Among other questions we will be considering how humans create meaning out of stories about extraterrestrials. Key Words: sociology, anthropology, science fiction

  • Millions of people worldwide have been inspired to pursue science by shows written and hosted by Carl Sagan, David Attenborough, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and others. What makes their videos appealing? How do they communicate complex scientific ideas in a simple language? In this course, students will learn how to develop ideas for science videos, write a script, and produce a final product for YouTube. The class will focus on a single theme, such as life on Mars, and then coordinate in the production of videos related to the topic. Students are expected to work in small groups for their projects. This course is affiliated with the Media & Technology Learning Collaborative (LC). We be learning about effective ways to communicate scientific ideas using platforms like YouTube. Key Words: Astronomy, Space, Film

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