Aydın Sayılı

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Aydın Sayılı
Born 2 May 1913
Istanbul
Died 13 October 1993 (aged 80)
Ankara
Citizenship Turkey
Fields History of Science
Institutions Ankara University
Alma mater Harvard University
Doctoral advisor George Sarton
Doctoral students Sevim Tekeli
Known for Ottoman astronomy

Aydın Sayılı (pronounced [ajdɯn ˈsajɯɫɯ]; 2 May 1913 – 1993) was a prominent Turkish historian of science. Sayılı's portrait is depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 5 lira banknote issued in 2009.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Sayılı was born in Istanbul on 2 May 1913.[2] His parents were Abdurrahman Sayılı (1875-1954) and Suat Sayılı (1889-1951). He had two sisters. Sayılı graduated from Atatürk High School in Ankara in 1933.[2] His career was aided by chance meeting with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, whom he impressed enough to receive a state-supported scholarship to attend Harvard University, where he studied history of science.[2] In 1942, Sayılı obtained a PhD degree in history of science at Harvard University under supervision of George Sarton.[3] His PhD thesis focused on the scientific institutions in the Islamic world and represents one of the first PhD theses written on Islamic studies in Harvard University.[2][4]

Career[edit]

Sayılı began to work at the department of philosophy at Ankara University in 1943. He became associate professor in 1946 and full professor in 1952. He was promoted to be distinguised professor in 1958.[2] Sayılı retired in 1983, and was appointed the head of the Atatürk Culture Center in 1984. His term lasted until 1993. He also served as member of the Turkish History Society and International Academy of History of Science.[2]

Awards[edit]

In 1973, Aydın Sayılı was awarded by the Polish government with the Copernicus Medal for his work on the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.[5] In 1977, he was decorated by the TÜBİTAK Service Award. In 1980 he was selected as a member of the International Editorial Committee of UNESCO. In 1981, he was awarded by Istanbul University the Excellent Service Award and in 1990 he was decorated by the UNESCO Award for his lifetime achievements.[5]

Death and funeral[edit]

Sayılı died of a heart attack in Ankara on 13 October 1993. He was buried at Cebeci cemetery in Ankara on 18 October 1993.[2]

Reverse of the 5 Turkish lira banknote (2009)

Works[edit]

Sayılı's works have been published in Turkish, English, Arabic and Persian.[5]

  • The 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
  • Abdülhamid İbn-Türk'ün katışık denklemlerde mantıkî zaruretler adlı yazısı ve zamanın cebri (Logical necessities in mixed equations by ʿAbd al Ḥamîd Ibn Turk and the algebra of his time), Reprint of the ed. Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1962, Inst. for the History of Arab.-Islamic Science, Frankfurt am Main 1997

References[edit]

  1. ^ Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. Banknote Museum: 9. Emission Group - Five Turkish Lira - I. Series. – Retrieved on 20 April 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Aydın Sayılı" (in Turkish). Biography.net. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Russell, G. A. (December 1996). Eloge: Aydin Sayili, 1913-1993 87 (4). Isis. pp. 672–675. JSTOR 235199. 
  4. ^ "Aydin Sayili: An intellectual biography". Muslim Heritage. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Biographies: Aydın Sayılı". Turkish Central Bank. Retrieved 25 October 2012.