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Aydin Sayily (tur. Aydın Sayılı, 1913-1993) – Turkish historian of science.BiographyBorn in Constantinople (now Istanbul), was the third child in the family of Abdullah-bek and Suat-khanim. He received his primary and secondary education in Constantinople (Istanbul) and Ankara. He was sent by the Turkish Ministry of Education to continue his studies at Harvard University, where he studied the history of science under the guidance of Professor George Sarton. In 1942 he defended his Ph.D. thesis at Harvard University, entitled „Scientific Institutions in the Islamic World."In 1943, after returning to Turkey, he worked at Ankara University, adjunct professor of the history of science in 1946, professor of the history of science in 1952, and ordinary professor in 1958. In 1960 he published his major work, „The Observatory in the Islamic World and Its General Place in the History of Observatories." In 1974 he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. He brought up a galaxy of famous scientists in the history of science, including 3 doctors of sciences – Sevim Tekeli (history of astronomy), Esin Kahya (history of natural sciences and medicine), Melek Dosai (history of mathematics).Since 1947 – a full member of the Turkish Historical Society, for several years he headed the section of the history of medieval art. Member of the International Academy of the History of Science since 1961, in 1962-1965 – its president. After leaving his post at the university in 1984, he created two new institutions – the Turkish Historical Society and the Turkish Language Society. Died on the street from a heart attack on October 15, 1993. He was buried in Ankara at the Cebeci Asri cemetery.Contribution to scienceHe studied the Islamic world, the history of Egypt, Mesopotamia, as well as other civilizations, studied their contribution to the formation of in comparison with Western civilization. He introduced many terms from various branches of knowledge into scientific circulation in Turkish. He studied the activities of many large observatories and of the Islamic world (Biruni, Ibn Sina, Al-Karafi, Ulugbek, etc.), the use of astronomical instruments. He showed that observatories appeared in the Islamic world in connection with the need for the administration of religious cults.AwardsAwarded by the government of the People’s Republic of Poland in 1973 with the Nicolaus Copernicus medal. In 1980 he was the UNESCO Prize.In Turkey, on January 1, 2009, a 5 Turkish lira banknote was issued into circulation, on the reverse side of which a fragment of the solar system, the structure of an atom and a fragment of a DNA chain and a portrait of Aydin Sayyila are depicted.PublicationsThe Observatory in Islam, Arno Press, June 1981, part of The Development of Science: Sources for the History of Science Series (Advisory Editor I. Bernard Cohen), ISBN 0-405-13951-9


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