Sardar contends that the present backwardness of non-European countries in science is mainly due to their past colonization by Europeans. Article.
Ziauddin Sardar was born on 31 October 1951 in Dipalpur, Northern Pakistan. As a small boy, he migrated to London, Britain, following his father who had established a foothold there a few years before. He studied physics and information science at the City University in London.
As an information scientist, he worked at the Hajj Research Centre of King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, where he developed a simulation model for the performance of the pilgrimage to Mecca. He simultaneously wrote books and worked on evenings as a journalist. He then migrated again to London, and worked for science periodicals like Nature and NewScientist, before joining television as a reporter. After this, he became consulting editor of Inquiry, a Muslim magazine. He set up a "Centre for Future Studies at the East-West University" in Chicago. Between 1994 and 1998, he was visiting professor of science and technology policy at the Middlesex University.
Since 1985, he has worked as an independent programmer and writer. He has published some 30 books, and over 200 articles, essays, and reviews. Since 1999, he has been editor of Futures.
Major works related to the European Miracle
(1) 1977: Science, Technology and Development in the Muslim World, Croom Helm, London; Humanities Press, New Jersey, 1977.
(2) 1982: Science and Technology in the Middle East: A Guide to Issues, Organisations and Institutions, Longman, Harlow, 1982.
(3) 1988: (editor) The Revenge of Athena: Science, Exploitation and the Third World, Mansell, London, 1988; Third World Network, Penang, 1988.
(4) 1989: Explorations in Islamic Science, Mansell, London, 1989
(5) 1993: (with Merryl Wyn Davies and Ashis Nandy) Barbaric Others: A Manifesto on Western Racism, Pluto Press, London, 1993; Westview Press, Boulder Colorado, 1993.
(6) 1996: Decolonising the 21st Century, Grey Seal, London, 1996; Institute for Policy Research, Kuala Lumpur, 1996.
An article by Sardar about the Grand Question.
A main website for Sardar (his homepage?) is found under
http://msanews.mynet.net/Scholars/Sardar/. Other info is available under: http://www.others.com/zia.htm. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My absolutely subjective review of Sardar's contribution to the Grand Issue
Sardar correctly states two points, which are often overseen, or even rejected: first, science needs money to go forward, and second, non-Western cultures are no obstacles to science. From these two elements, Sardar logically concludes that the lagging of science in the Third World is a consequence of the lack of financial means.
From there on, unfortunately, he embarks on a spree of West-bashing:
all Third World poverty is the fault of the naughty European colonizers.
Focussed on his civilization, the Muslim one,
Sardar seems to be unaware that Chinese science stopped around 1300,
much before the naughty Europeans appeared around the corner. Same story
in India, where the great flourishing of science ended around 700.
In the case of the Arab and Persian world, it is true however
that the impoverishment striking it after about 1050,
was due to neighbouring civilizations fighting back Arab invasion.
Chinese taking over their seas down to Malacca, Indians recouping
their maritime dominance east of Ceylon, and Europeans
regaining control of the Mediterranean. Becoming poorer,
the Arabs lost their scientific edge. All of this, and much more,
is explained in Le Secret de l'Occident.
Despite his sometimes narrow views on international matters, Sardar is a very insightful and smart thinker. Fascinating examples are his analysis of Star Trek in terms of American psychology and relation to the world, and his analysis of toys.