1001 Inventions to partner with China’s biggest Science Festival to celebrate IYL 2015

The organizing committee of China’s biggest national Science Festival announced today that it will host “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham”, as an anchor attraction of the 2015 China Science Festival, from 17 July to 2 August 2015 at the Beijing Exhibition Center. The China Science Festival has chosen 'Light and Colour' as the theme for 2015 in celebration of the United Nations proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015). 1001 Inventions participates at the Festival as a Founding Partner of the International Year of Light aiming to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges. In line with this year’s theme, 11th century Middle Eastern scholar Ibn al-Haytham was unveiled as the official mascot and guest of honour for the 2015 China Science Festival.

Press conference to present parnertship between 1001 Inventions and China Science Festival. Credit: 1001 Inventions.
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Press conference to present parnertship between 1001 Inventions and China Science Festival. Credit: 1001 Inventions.

We are pleased to be part of the International Year of Light and host ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ at the second edition of the China Science Festival. The achievements of the renowned 11th century scientist Ibn al-Haytham and his work in optics will be a highlight of this year’s festival and having Ibn al-Haytham as our guest mascot will offer a unique opportunity for young people in China to learn more about other civilisations and help promote harmony between cultures through science.

Jane Geng, Director of Science Beijing Network

The Ibn al-Haytham themed zone at the China Science Festival will include a giant fully functioning camera obscura, a cinema area screening 1001 Inventions’ new short film about Ibn al-Haytham starring actor Omar Sharif, theatrical science performances and hands-on demonstrations. The educational experiences aim to engage the public in celebrating the 1,000-year anniversary of Ibn al-Haytham’s seminal work on optics Kitab al-Manazir (The Book of Optics) and raise awareness of light science and its solutions for humanity. 

1001 Inventions is delighted to make its debut in China through participation at the China Science Festival in celebration of the International Year of Light. Linking the Chinese legacy in early optics with the seminal achievements of Ibn al-Haytham on light and vision theories, offers insights to the significant accumulation of scientific knowledge through the contributions of different civilisations. Such historical collective learning, by people of different languages, faiths and cultures, has laid the foundation for modern science, helping to this day shape our understanding of the universe and impacting our day-to-day lives.

Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions

Giant fully functioning camera obscura themed as Ibn Al-Haytham’s turban and produced by 1001 Inventions will be showcased at the 2015 China Science Festival. Credit: 1001 Inventions.
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Giant fully functioning camera obscura themed as Ibn Al-Haytham’s turban and produced by 1001 Inventions will be showcased at the 2015 China Science Festival. Credit: 1001 Inventions.

The global campaign ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ is produced by the United Kingdom based organization 1001 Inventions and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in partnership with UNESCO and the International Year of Light. The campaign was launched in January 2015 at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO. 

About Ibn Al-Haytham

Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (known in the West by the Latinised form of his first name, initially “Alhacen” and later “Alhazen”) was born about 1,000 years ago in Basra, which is now in Iraq. This was the height of the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation — a creative era that spanned a thousand years from the 7th century onwards, from Spain to China, bringing forth many far-reaching advances in science, technology and medicine by men and women of different faiths and cultures. Building upon knowledge of ancient civilisations, their contributions added significant and crucial value to the accumulation of scientific knowledge shaping our homes, schools, hospitals, towns and the way we trade, travel and understand the universe today.

Ibn al-Haytham was a pioneering scientific thinker who made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. His methodology of investigation, in particular using experiment to verify theory, shows certain similarities to what later became known as the modern scientific method. 

To explore the nature of light and vision, Ibn al-Haytham used a dark chamber he called “Albeit Almuzlim,” translated into Latin as “camera obscura” – the device that forms the basis of photography. He observed that light coming through a tiny hole travelled in straight lines and projected an image onto the opposite wall.

Based on such experimentation, Ibn al-Haytham concluded that vision is accomplished by rays coming from external luminous sources and entering the eye, rather than through rays emitted from the eye as was commonly believed.

Ibn al-Haytham based his theories on the work of the Greek physician Galen, who had provided a detailed description of the eye and the optic pathways. However, Ibn al-Haytham subscribed to a method of empirical analysis to accompany theoretical postulates that is similar in certain ways to the scientific method we know today.

When Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Optics (Kitab al-Manzir) was translated into Latin (De Aspectibus), its impact rippled out across the whole world. Both his optical discoveries, and the fact that they had been validated using hands-on experiments, would influence those whom came after him for centuries. Today, many consider him a pivotal figure in the history of optics and the “Father of modern Optics”.

Further information can be found at http://www.ibnalhaytham.com.

About the China Science Festival

From July 17 to August 2, 2015, the 2nd China Science Festival will take place in Beijing. The 2015 China Science Festival will have the theme of “Light and Color” to celebrate the United Nations proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015).

Under the direction of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and with the support of Xicheng District People's Government, Children and Youth Science Center of CAST, China Association of Children’s Science Instructors and the Beijing Tourism Group, the festival will exhibit a fantastic world of light to the public and highlight the importance of light-based technologies in promoting sustainable development.

Government institutions, non-profit organizations, research institutes, science and technology enterprises, popular science venues, universities, primary and secondary schools, science education and training institutions and science and education products-oriented enterprises will join the celebration to create an unparalleled interactive science experience.

Further information can be found at: http://www.chinasciencefestival.com.

About 1001 Inventions

1001 Inventions is an award-winning, British based organisation that creates international educational campaigns and engaging transmedia productions aiming to raise awareness of the contributions to science, technology and culture from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation.

For one thousand years from the 7th century onwards, inspirational men and women, of different faiths and cultures, built upon knowledge of ancient civilisations, making discoveries that have had a huge and often underappreciated impact on our world. In an area that spread from Spain to China, this Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation saw fascinating advancements in science and technology that helped pave the way for the European Renaissance.

Over the last decade, 1001 Inventions has engaged with over 150 million people across the globe, with educational campaigns in cities such as in LondonIstanbulNew YorkWashington DCLos AngelesKuala LumpurAbu Dhabi and Jeddah.  

1001 Inventions works with a network of international partners and leading academics, and through its academic partner FSTC (UK), to produce world-class experiences, interactive exhibitsfeature films, live shows, books and classroom learning materials that are being used by hundreds of thousands of educators around the world.

Further information can be found at www.1001inventions.com.

About ‘1001 Inventions and The World of Ibn Al-Haytham’

Produced by 1001 Inventions and King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture in partnership with UNESCO and ‘The International Year of Light 2015’ to celebrate the scientific legacy and achievements of the remarkable 11th century scientist Ibn al-Haytham

With the life and work of Ibn al-Haytham as an inspiration, the campaign aims to deliver a series of international events, public outreach campaigns and engaging learning experiences to incite inquisitiveness and curiosity and encourage young people to study and pursue science careers while promoting intercultural understanding, entrepreneurial and scientific thinking.

Further information can be found at http://www.ibnalhaytham.com.

About the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is a pioneering undertaking by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Created to make a tangible and positive impact on human development by inspiring a passion for knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, the Center is scheduled to open in 2016 in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. It will house a library, archives, a lifelong learning center, youth enrichment and innovation programs, a four-gallery museum and a children’s museum. The Center will offer a wide variety of permanent and visiting exhibitions, live events and multimedia venues.

Further information can be found at www.kingabdulazizcenter.com.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the lightsources.org International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.

Contacts

Ahmed Salim
Producer and Director
1001 Inventions
info@1001inventions.com

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
john.dudley@univ-fcomte.fr

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
light2015@ictp.it