Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies
The Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS) has two broad foci for its work:
- Researching the roles and reception of science in Muslim societies, with the goal of understanding how social, political, historical, and religious factors influence--and are influenced by--the methodologies and findings of science.
- Communicating the results of that research, as well as science generally to the Muslim world.
We study Muslim societies across the world, including diaspora or immigrant communities in the West. The center takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes the perspectives of history, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, and science education.
- Salman Hameed's study of understandings of evolution among Muslims in several different national settings, funded by a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
- Research on internet videos about natural sciences and Islam. This research was funded 2014-2015 through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The research was done by a team of Five College Consortium undergraduates led by research fellow Vika Gardner. This research resulted in the creation of the Science and Islam Video Portal.
- Analysis of internet videos on science and Islam. This research is funded 2015-2016 through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
The first presentation of this research was given by Vika Gardner at a conference at the University of Durham (U.K.), Muslims and Islam in European Modernity, August 20, 2015, entitled "Arguing Normative Islam: European Engagement with Muslim Ideas about Science in Video." Dr. Gardner also gave presentations on this material at a conference in San Diego in May 2016, and the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in November 2016.
The first paper has now been published: Science and Islam Videos: Creating a Methodology to Find “All” Unique Internet Videos, in CyberOrient, vol. 11, issue 1, 2017.
- The Science and Islam Video Portal, which presents some of the videos identified in our research with evaluations of their representations of Islam, the natural sciences, and history.
- Our Lecture Series.
- A video series on astronomy in Urdu entitled Science ka Adda (Science café).
- Outreach on science and the social settings of science through Salman Hameed's blog, Irtiqa.
- A wide variety of academic and popular articles by Salman Hameed on Muslim understandings of science.
- A conference, Darwin and Evolution in the Muslim World, October 2009.
- The center hosts lectures several times per year on Hampshire College's campus on topics associated with the natural sciences and Islam.
- The faculty offer courses throughout the Five College Consortium on topics related to the natural sciences and Islam.
- Students engage in collaborative research, sometimes culminating in Div III projects.
Read news updates for more about what's going on in the center.