James Hannam, PhD is a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge, with degrees in physics and history. He is the author of God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science (2009), which was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and The Globe: How the Earth Became Round (2023). He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and lives in Kent with his wife and two teenage children.
Alchemy had its golden age in the 17th century, when it counted Isaac Newton and Robert Boyle among its adherents.
Once a cosmopolitan faith, Islam valued intellectualism and modernity. It was derailed by various geopolitical and religious forces.