Dr. Nidhal Guessoum
American University of Sharjah
BiographyNidhal Guessoum is a Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Astrophysics at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. He holds a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of California at San Diego, USA. Additional academic past positions include: post-doctoral researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; visiting scientist at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, at the Centre d’Etude Spatiale des Rayonnements in Toulouse, France, and others. Prof. Guessoum has participated in dozens of conferences worldwide, published in major international journals, and given invited lectures given at prestigious universities such as Cambridge, Oxford, Cornell, Wisconsin, Malaya, New York University at Abu Dhabi, and others worldwide. In addition to dozens of technical papers, Prof. Guessoum has published several books that have been well received by both specialists and the general public. He has been interviewed in numerous international media, is a regular columnist for Arab News, and has a strong social media presence: 87,000 followers on Twitter, 60,000 on Facebook, and 200,000 channel subscribers on YouTube, with his regular program Ta’ammal Ma`I (Reflect with Me) on science, culture, and education.
Science Literacy in the Arab WorldI will discuss why both a “scientific literacy” and a “culture of science” are important in today’s world. I will decry the dearth of data and studies on both of these important issues in the Arab-Muslim world today. I will review the main factors and activities that influence these two issues, positively or negatively: economics, socio-political situation, education (quality and content), media, religion, etc. And I will conclude by presenting a few recommendations for the development and dissemination of the culture of science in the Arab-Muslim world.