Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Islam and Science

Spiral Galaxy

Date: Friday 6 July 2018

Time: 18:45 to 20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, Marylebone, London W1H 4LP

The City Circle is delighted to present an evening with celebrated astrophysicist and author Nidhal Guessoum.

Ahead of his Faraday Institute lecture at University of Cambridge, Professor Guessoum will join the City Circle for an exclusive conversation about his book The Young Muslim's Guide to Modern Science with Ehsan Masood, author of Science & Islam: A History.

In a secular age increasingly shaped by scientific discovery and the authority of religious institutions arguably in decline, religion and science are often viewed as polar opposites. When science is conflated with ‘reason’ and religion with ‘faith’, how do young Muslims navigate these two spheres and become believers who are still rational and forward-thinking? In this ground-breaking book, Nidhal Guessoum explores one of the most pressing issues of our time, showing how it is possible to understand religious teachings in harmony with modern science without sacrificing one or the other.

The conversation will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.


Professor Nidhal Guessoum  @nidhalguessoum

Nidhal Guessoum is an Algerian astrophysicist. He obtained his PhD (and MSc) from the University of California at San Diego (USA) and spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher (and later, extended periods of time as a visiting scientist) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He has also worked hard to spread modern scientific knowledge in Arab-Muslim society. In particular, he co-authored a book on the crescent-based Islamic calendar, insisting on taking modern astronomical knowledge and methodology fully on board when addressing the problem. He is currently Professor and Interim Head of Physics at the American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Ehsan Masood  @EhsanMasood

Ehsan Masood is a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. Between 2009 and 2017 he was Editor of the science policy magazine Research Fortnight. He has worked at Nature and New Scientist and has made documentary programmes for BBC Radio 4. His books include The Great Invention: The Story of GDP and the Making (and Unmaking) of the Modern World (Pegasus, 2016) and Science & Islam: A History (Icon, 2017). He teaches science and innovation policy at Imperial College. Ehsan is also chair of trustees of the Muslim Institute, publishers of the journal Critical Muslim.

Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact the event organiser:

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Calzetti