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Persiamarker was a cradle of science in earlier times. Persian scientists contributed to the current understanding of nature, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. Persians made important contributions to algebra and chemistry, invented the wind-power machine, and the first distillation of alcohol. Trying to revive the golden time of Persian science, Iran's scientists cautiously reach out to the world. Many individual Iranian scientists, along with the Iranian Academy of Medical Sciences and Iranian Academy of Sciences, are involved in this revival.

Iranmarker is an example of a country that has made considerable advances through education and training, despite international sanctions in almost all aspects of research during the past few decades. Iran's university population swelled from 100,000 in 1979 to 2 million in 2006. Seventy percent of its science and engineering students are women.

Science has been prevalent throughout both ancient and modern Persian history.

Science in Persia

Science in Persia evolved in two main phases separated by the arrival and widespread adoption of Islam in the region. Many of the today's concepts in Science including Helio-Centric model of solar system, finite speed of light, and gravity were first proposed by Persian scientists.

Little is known about science in Iran during ancient times. In the Sassanid period (226 to 652 AD), attention was given to mathematics and astronomy. The Academy of Gondeshapurmarker is an example. The Sassanid School of Nisibis and pre-Islamic Sarouyeh are other examples in this category.

Because the ratio of Astronomical tables—such as the Shahryar Tables—date to this period, and Sassanid observatories were later imitated by the astrologers and astronomers of the Islamic period.

Sa'ad Andolsosi, in his book Classes of People, praised Persian knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. References to scientific subjects such as natural science and mathematics occur in books written in the Pahlavi languages.

The medical and veterinary essays, prescriptions, and expressions mentioned in Dinkart (from the Sassanid period) were of interest to later and modern scholars. Some medical books later translated into Arabic were initially compiled in the Syrian or Pahlavi languages by Iranian scholars. Among such books are those on veterinary medicine, agriculture, diseases and treatment of gab-birds, training and education of children, and tactics of warfare.

In the mid-Sassanid era, knowledge came to Persia from the West in the form of the views and traditions of Greece which, after the spread of Christianity, accompanied Syriac, the official language of Christians as well as the Iranian Nestorian. The Christian schools in Iran produced scientists such as Nersi, Farhad, and Marabai. Also, a book was left by Paulus Persa, head of the Iranian Department of Logic and Philosophy of Aristotle, written in Syriac and dictated to Sassanid King Anushiravan.

Other teachers have risen from similar theological and philosophical schools. Amongst them were Ibrahim Madi, Hibai the translator, Marbab Gondishapuri, and Paulus, son of Kaki of Karkhe. During the Sassanid period, Gondishapur (a town east of Susamarker, southeast of Dezfulmarker and northwest of Shushtarmarker) became a center of medical knowledge, and its fame lasted for several centuries, even after the advent of Islam in Persia.

Ancient technology in Persia

Qanat (a water management system used for irrigation) originated in pre-Achaemenid Persia. The oldest and largest known qanat is in the Iranian city of Gonabad which, after 2,700 years, still provides drinking and agricultural water to nearly 40,000 people.

Persian philosophers and inventors may have created the first batteries (sometimes known as the Baghdad Battery) in the Parthian or Sassanid eras. Some have suggested that the batteries may have been used medicinally. Other scientists believe the batteries were used for electroplating—transferring a thin layer of metal to another metal surface—a technique still used today and the focus of a common classroom experiment.

Windwheels were developed by the Babylonians ca. 1700 BC to pump water for irrigation. In the 7th century, Persian engineers in Afghanistanmarker developed a more advanced wind-power machine, the windmill, building upon the basic model developed by the Babylonians.

The philosophy of the Islamic period was influenced by Greecemarker, Indiamarker, and by the Iran of the pre-Islamic period. Ibn Khurram writes in his book "al Melal wa al-Nehal" that Muhammad Bin Zakaria Razi | (Rhazes) took from the ancient Iranians five principles in which he believed:

  1. Creator- Ahuramazda
  2. Satan-Ahriman
  3. Moment-Time
  4. Place-Locality
  5. Essence-Spirit

The same is mentioned by Massoudi in his book Moruj-oz-Zahab. Shahaboddin Sohrevardi, in the preface to his philosophical book, quotes old Iranian terms and expressions derived from Zoroastrian, Mani, and Zarvanians.

The Abbasids paid attention to science. Scientific interest in the courts of caliphs of Baghdadmarker and the Emirs of Persia such as Khwarazmshahi, Samanid, Ziariad, and the Bowayyid and Dialameh of Isfahanmarker reached its peak at the end of the 11th and beginning of 12th centuries, but declined under the Turkmen and Mongol invasions.

Some of the Iranian translators who knew Syriac, Greek and Pahlavi languages and translated many scientific books into Arabic were Al Bakhtyasu, Al-Nowbakht, Al-Masouyeh, Abdollah Ibn Moqaffa, Omar Ibn Farakhan Tabari, Ali Ibn Ziad Tammimi, Ibn Sahl, Yusof Al Naqel, Isa Ibn Chaharbakht, and Yatr Ibn Rostam Al Kouhi. The latest was Abu Reyhan Birooni, the mathematician and famous translator of Indian books.

As the result of these men and their Arab colleagues (e.g. Thabit ibn Qurra), the knowledge and science of ancient Indiamarker, Greecemarker, and Alexandriamarker was translated into Arabic, creating the largest scientific treasury of the Middle Ages. The most ancient mathematicians and writers amongst the Muslims were two Iranians: Nowbakht Ahwazi and Ibrahim Ibn Habib-ol-fazari, and the latter also translated into Arabic a collection of Indian astronomy books.


The first five rows of Khaiam-Pascal's triangle

One of the greatest mathematicians of antiquity, who appeared at the end of the 9th century, was an Iranian by the name of Muhammad Ibn Musa-al-Kharazmi, whose work affected the Islamic and European culture after the 12th century. This noted mathematician, in addition to compiling a table of figures named Algorithm, also developed algebra and revived the ancient Iranian and Indian arithmetic system. His work in algebra was translated into Latin by the Latin translator Gerard of Cremona and titled: De jebra et almucabola. Robert of Chester also translated it under the title Liber algebras et almucabala. The works of Khwarizmi "exercised a profound influence on the development of mathematical thought in the medieval West".

Mathematics were later developed by scientists such as Abu Abbas Fazl Hatam, the Banu Musa brothers, Farahani, Omar Ibn Farakhan, Abu Zeid Ahmad Ibn Soheil Balkhi (9th century AD), Abul Vafa Bouzjani, Abu Jaafar Khan, Bijan Ibn Rostam Kouhi, Ahmad Ibn Abdul Jalil Qomi, Bu Nasr Iraqi, Abu Reyhan Birooni, the noted Iranian poet Hakim Omar Khayyam Neishaburi, Qatan Marvazi, Massoudi Ghaznavi (13th century AD), Khajeh Nassireddin Tusi, and Ghiasseddin Jamshidi Kashani.


The practice and study of medicine in Iranmarker has a long and prolific history. Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Persia was often involved in developments in ancient Greek and Indian medicine; pre- and post-Islamic Iran have been involved in medicine as well.

For example, the first teaching hospital where medical students methodically practiced on patients under the supervision of physicians was the Academy of Gundishapurmarker in the Persian Empire. Some experts go so far as to claim that: "to a very large extent, the credit for the whole hospital system must be given to Persia".

The idea of xenotransplantation dates to the days of Achaemenidae (the Achaemenian dynasty), as evidenced by engravings of many mythologic chimeras still present in Persepolismarker.

Several documents still exist from which the definitions and treatments of the headache in medieval Persia can be ascertained. These documents give detailed and precise clinical information on the different types of headaches. The medieval physicians listed various signs and symptoms, apparent causes, and hygienic and dietary rules for prevention of headaches. The medieval writings are both accurate and vivid, and they provide long lists of substances used in the treatment of headaches. Many of the approaches of physicians in medieval Persia are accepted today; however, still more of them could be of use to modern medicine.

In medicine, Mansour Davaniqi, the founder of Baghdad, invited scholars from Gondishapurmarker to live in that city. Amongst them was a Nestorian Christian named Jurjis Ibn Jebreel Ibn Bakhtyasu, who wrote a book on medicine that contained all subjects on medical science known to their culture at that time. Others who migrated to Baghdad also had publications of their own. The first Muslim who wrote about medicine was another Persian, Ali Ibn Rabn Tabari, who compiled medical knowledge from Greece, India, and ancient Persia.

From: Mansur ibn Ilyas: Tashrīḥ-i badan-i insān.
Manuscript, ca. 1450, U.S.
National Library of Medicine.

In the 10th century work of Shahnameh, Ferdowsi describes a Caesarean section performed on Rudaba, during which a special wine agent was prepared by a Zoroastrian priest and used to produce unconsciousness for the operation. Although largely mythical in content, the passage illustrates working knowledge of anesthesia in ancient Persiamarker.

Later in the 10th century, Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Zakaria Razi wrote detailed, albeit short, books on medicine. His books were translated into Latin and were printed several times. In addition to compiling subjects from ancient books, Razi relied on his own experiences. His student was Abu Bakr Joveini, who wrote a comprehensive medical book in Persian. This was the first book on medicine in the Persian language and is one of the oldest literary works in that language. Razi is considered the founder of practical physics and the inventor of the special or net weight of matter.

The third important writer on medicine of this period was Ali Ibn Abbas Majussi Ahwazi, the physician to the court of Azod-od-Dowleh Daylami, whose works were also translated into Latin and reprinted several times. His books were considered the best and most complete works on medicine prior to the appearance of Avicenna (Abu Ali Sina), who wrote books and papers on various scientific subjects. His book Qanun was used as a textbook by the Europeans for many centuries thereon.

Many physicians have appeared since Avicenna, but none gained the prominence of Zayn al-Din al-Jurjani, author of the first medical encyclopedia to be written in the Persian language instead of the usual Arabic lingua franca, Dhakhira-i Khwarazmshahi, composed between 1111 AD and 1136 AD. It is even more complete than Avicenna's Canons and is considered to be the greatest medical book written in Persian. Iranians were also proficient in other natural sciences such as botany, pharmacology, chemistry, zoology, lithology, and mineralogy. The most famous scientists in these fields were Muhammad Bin Zakaria Razi and Abu Reyhan Birooni. Alcohol and sulfuric acid are thought to have been discovered by Razi (Rhazes), and Biruni calculated specific gravity of many substances in a very precise manner.

After the Islamic conquest of Iran, medicine continued to flourish with the rise of notables such as Rhazes and Haly Abbas, albeit Baghdadmarker was the new cosmopolitan inheritor of Sassanid Jundishapur's medical academy.

An idea of the number of medical works composed in Persian alone may be gathered from Adolf Fonahn's Zur Quellenkunde der Persischen Medizin, published in Leipzigmarker in 1910. The author enumerates over 400 works in the Persian language on medicine, excluding authors such as Avicenna, who wrote in Arabic. Author-historians Meyerhof, Casey Wood, and Hirschberg also have recorded the names of at least 80 oculist who contributed treatises on subjects related to ophthalmology from the beginning of 800 AD to the full flowering of Muslim medical literature in 1300 AD.

Aside from the aforementioned, two other medical works attracted great attention in medieval Europe, namely Abu Mansur Muwaffaq's Materia Medica, written around 950 AD, and the illustrated Anatomy of Mansur ibn Muhammad, written in 1396 AD.

Modern academic medicine began in Iran when Joseph Cochran established a medical college in Urmiamarker in 1878. Cochran is often credited for founding Iran’s "first contemporary medical college". The website of Urmia University credits Cochran for "lowering the infant mortality rate in the region" and for founding one of Iran's first modern hospitals (Westminister Hospital) in Urmia.


In 1000 AD, Biruni wrote an astronomical encyclopaedia which discussed the possibility that the earth might rotate around the sun. This was before Tycho Brahe drew the first maps of the sky, using stylized animals to depict the constellations.

In the tenth century, the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi cast his eyes upwards to the awning of stars overhead and was the first to record a galaxy outwith our own. Gazing at the Andromeda galaxy he called it a "little cloud" - an apt description of the slightly wispy appearance of our galactic neighbour.


In the 13th century, more than 600 years before Charles Darwin, Nasir al-Din Tusi developed a basic theory of evolution. Key differences exist between Tusi's approach and Darwin's The Origin of Species. While Darwin used deductive reasoning, gathering samples of plants and animals to work his way from facts to a theory, Tusi used a more theoretical approach. Tusi explained that "hereditary variability" was the leading force of evolution. He wrote that all living organisms were able to change and that the animate organisms developed owing to their hereditary variability, saying "the organisms that can gain the new features faster are more variable. As a result, they gain advantages over other creatures." This sounds remarkably like a simplistic form of Darwin's writings about mutations. Tusi was correct when he suggested that "the bodies are changing as a result of the internal and external interactions"; that is, as a result of environmental influences. Tusi wrote "look at the world of animals and birds. They have all that is necessary for defense, protection and daily life, including strength, courage, and appropriate tools (organs)". Tusi also believed that humans are derived from advanced animals. He wrote about the different transition forms between the human and animal world, saying "such humans (probably anthropoid apes) live in the Western Sudan and other distant corners of the world. They are close to animals by their habits, deeds and behavior".

Tusi said that humans are related to all living and inanimate creatures of Nature, writing that "the human has features that distinguish him from other creatures, but he has other features that unite him with the animal world, the vegetable kingdom or even with the inanimate bodies".


Tusi believed that a body of matter is able to change but is not able to disappear entirely. He wrote "a body of matter cannot disappear completely. It only changes its form, condition, composition, color, and other properties, and turns into a different complex or elementary matter". Five hundred years later, Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–1765) and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) created the law of conservation of mass, setting down this same idea. However, it should be noted that Tusi argued for evolution within a firmly Islamic context—he did not, like Darwin, draw materialist conclusions from his theories. Moreover, unlike Darwin, he was arguing hypothetically: he did not attempt to provide empirical data for his theories. Nonetheless his arguments, which in some ways prefigure natural selection, are still considered remarkably 'advanced' for their time.

Jaber Ibn Hayyan, the famous Iranian chemist who died in 804 at Tous in Khorasan, was the father of a number of discoveries recorded in an encyclopaedia and of many treatises covering two thousand topics, and these became the bible of European chemists of the 18th century, particularly of Lavoisier. These works had a variety of uses including tinctures and their applications in tanning and textiles; distillations of plants and flowers; the origin of perfumes; therapeutic pharmacy, and gunpowder, a powerful military instrument possessed by Islam long before the West. Jabir ibn Hayyan, is widely regarded as the founder of chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and equipment still used by chemists today such as distillation.


Abu Ali al'Hasan ibn al'Haitam is known in the West as Alhazen, born in 965 in Persia and dying in 1039 in Egypt. He is known as the father of optics for his writings on, and experiments with, lenses, mirrors, refraction, and reflection. He correctly stated that vision results from light that is reflected into the eye by an object, not emitted by the eye itself and reflected back, as Aristotle believed. He solved the problem of finding the locus of points on a spherical mirror from which light will be reflected to an observer. From his studies of refraction, he determined that the atmosphere has a definite height and that twilight is caused by refraction of solar radiation from beneath the horizon. On the page to which this comment is linked, the optical diagram on the Pakistani commemorative in blue, green, and black is hard to decipher because of the lack of contrast. was the first scientist to formally propose that the speed of light is finite, before Galileo tried to experimentally prove this.

Science in modern Iran

Considering the country's brain drain and its poor political relationship with the United Statesmarker and some other Western countries, Iran's scientific community remains productive, even while economic sanctions make it difficult for universities to buy equipment or to send people to the United States to attend scientific meetings. Furthermore, Iran considers scientific backwardness, as one of the root causes of political and military bullying by developed countries over undeveloped states.


Iran's national science budget is about $900 million and it has not been subject to any significant increase since 15 years (2005). Iran allocates around 0.4% of its GDP to R&D, which ranks it "far behind industrialized societies" who spend 1.4% of their GDP on average. Yet Iran's government has devoted huge amounts of funds for research on high technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, stem cell research and information technology (2008). Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology is one of the main institutions in Iran in charge of establishing research policies at the state level.


200 px

Theoretical and computational sciences are highly developed in Iran. Theoretical physicists and chemists regularly publish works in high impact factor journals. Despite the limitations in funds, facilities, and international collaborations, Iranian scientists have been very productive in several experimental fields such as pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, and organic and polymer chemistry. Iranian biophysicists, especially molecular biophysicists, have gained international reputations since the 1990s . High field nuclear magnetic resonance facility, microcalorimetry, circular dichroism, and instruments for single protein channel studies have been provided in Iran during the past two decades. Tissue engineering and research on biomaterials have just started to emerge in biophysics departments. According to the State Registration Organization of Deeds and Properties, a total of 9,570 national inventions was registered in Iran during 2008. Compared with the previous year, there was a 38-percent increase in the number of inventions registered by the organization.

Scientific collaboration

Iran annually hosts international science festivals. The International Kharazmi Festival in Basic Science and The Annual Razi Medical Sciences Research Festival promote original research in science, technology, and medicine in Iran.

Iranians welcome scientists from all over the world to Iran for a visit and participation in seminars or collaborations. Many Nobel laureates and influential scientists such as Bruce Alberts, F. Sherwood Rowland, Kurt Wüthrich, Stephen Hawking, and Pierre-Gilles de Gennes visited Iran after the revolution. Some universities also hosted Americanmarker and European scientists as guest lecturers during recent decades.

Private sector

Parallel to academic research, several companies have been founded in Iran during last few decades. For example CinnaGen, established in 1992, is one of the pioneering biotechnology companies in the region. CinnaGen won Biotechnology Asia 2005 Innovation Awards due to its achievements and innovation in biotechnology research. In 2006 Parsé Semiconductor Co. announced it had designed and produced a 32 bit computer microprocessor inside the country for the first time.Software companies are growing rapidly. In CeBITmarker 2006, ten Iranian software companies introduced their products.

Technology parks

The government of Iran has plans for the establishment of 50-60 industrial parks by the end of the fifth Five-Year Socioeconomic Development Plan by 2015.
Park's name Focus area Location
Guilan Science and Technology Park Agro-Food, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Electronics, Environment, ICT, Tourism. Guilanmarker
Pardis Technology Parkmarker Advanced Engineering (mechanics and automation), Biotechnology, Chemistry, Electronics, ICT, Nano-technology. 25 km North-East of Tehranmarker
Tehran Software and Information Technology Park (planned) ICT Tehran
Khorasan Science and Technology Park (Ministry of Science, Research and Technology) Advanced Engineering, Agro-Food, Chemistry, Electronics, ICT, Services. Khorasan
Sheikh Bahai Technology Park (Aka "Isfahan Science and Technology Town") Materials and Metallurgy, Information and Communications Technology, Design & Manufacturing, Automation, Biotechnology, Services. Isfahanmarker


Clinical sciences are highly developed in Iran. In areas such as rheumatology, hematology, and bone marrow trasplantation, Iranian medical scientists are among the world leaders. The Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Research Center (HORC) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Shariati Hospital was established in 1991. Internationally, this center is one of the largest bone marrow transplantation centers and has carried out a large number of successful transplantations. According to a study conducted in 2005, associated specialized pediatric hematology and oncology (PHO) services exist in almost all major cities throughout the country, where 43 board-certified or eligible pediatric hematologist–oncologists are giving care to children suffering from cancer or hematological disorders. Three children’s medical centers at universities have approved PHO fellowship programs. Besides hematology, gastroenterology has recently attracted many talented medical students. The gasteroenterology research center based at Tehran University has produced increasing numbers of scientific publications since its establishment.

Modern organ transplantation in Iran dates to 1935, when the first cornea transplant in Iran was performed by Professor Mohammad-Qoli Shams at Farabi Hospital in Tehran, Iran. The Shirazmarker Nemazi transplant center, also one of the pioneering transplant units of Iran, performed the first Iranian kidney transplant in 1967 and the first Iranian liver transplant in 1995. The first heart transplant in Iran was performed 1993 in Tabriz. The first lung transplant was performed in 2001, and the first heart and lung transplants were performed in 2002, both at Tehran University. Iran developed the first artificial lung in 2009 to join five other countries in the world which possess such technology. Currently, renal, liver, and heart transplantations are routinely performed in Iran. Iran ranks fifth in the world in kidney transplants. The Iranian Tissue Bank, commencing in 1994, was the first multi-facility tissue bank in country. In June 2000, the Organ Transplantation Brain Death Act was approved by the Parliament, followed by the establishment of the Iranian Network for Transplantation Organ Procurement. This act helped to expand heart, lung, and liver transplantation programs. By 2003, Iran had performed 131 liver, 77 heart, 7 lung, 211 bone marrow, 20,581 cornea, and 16,859 liver transplantations. 82 percent of these were donated by living and unrelated donors; 10 percent by cadavers; and 8 percent came from living-related donors. The 3-year renal transplant patient survival rate was 92.9%, and the 40-month graft survival rate was 85.9%.

Neuroscience is also emerging in Iran. A few PhD programs in cognitive and computational neuroscience have been established in the country during recent decades.


Agricultural research has been successful in releasing high yielding varieties with higher stability as well as tolerance to harsh weather conditions. The agriculture researchers are working jointly with international Institutes to find the best procedures and genotypes to overcome produce failure and to increase yield. In 2005, Iran's first genetically modified (GM) rice was approved by national authorities and is being grown commercially for human consumption. In addition to GM rice, Iran has produced several GM plants in the laboratory, such as insect-resistant maize; cotton; potatoes and sugar beets; herbicide-resistant canola; salinity- and drought-tolerant wheat; and blight-resistant maize and wheat. The Royan Institute engineered Iran's first cloned animal; the sheep was born on August 2, 2006 and has passed the critical first two months of his life.

In the last months of 2006, Iranian biotechnologists announced that they, as the third manufacturer in the world, have sent CinnoVex (a recombinant type of Interferon b1a) to the market.According to a study by David Morrison and Ali Khademhosseini (Harvard-MIT and Cambridge), stem cell research in Iran is amongst the top 10 in the world. Iran will invest 2.5 billion dollars in the country's stem cell research over the next five years (2008-2013).

Physics and materials

Iran had some significant successes in nuclear technology during recent decades, especially in nuclear medicine. However, little connection exists between Iran's scientific society and that of the nuclear program of Iran. Iran is the 7th country in production of Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6). Iran now controls the entire cycle for producing nuclear fuel. Iranian scientists are also helping to construct the Compact Muon Solenoid, a detector for the Large Hadron Collider of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERNmarker) that is due to come online in 2008 . Iran is also involved in the developement of a domestic Linear particle accelerator (LINAC) (2009).It is among the few countries in the world that has the technology to produce zirconium alloys.

Computer science

Center of Excellence in Design, Robotics, and Automation was established in 2001 to promote educational and research activities in the fields of design, robotics, and automation. Besides these professional groups, several robotics groups work in Iranian high schools.Ultra Fast Microprocessors Research Center in Tehran’s Amir Kabir Universitymarker successfully built a supercomputer in 2007. Maximum processing capacity of the supercomputer is 860 billion operations per second. Iran’s first supercomputer launched in 2001 was also fabricated by Amir Kabir University. In 2009, a SUSE Linux-based HPC system made by the Aerospace Research Institute of Iran (ARI) was launched with 32 cores and now runs 96 cores. Its performance was pegged at 192 GFLOPS. The Routerlab team at the University of Tehran successfully designed and implemented an access-router (RAHYAB-300) and a 40Gbps high capacity switch fabric (UTS).


Iran ranked 25th in the world in Nanotechnology in 2007 with highest, ranked paper citation international mean, amongst all Islamic countries and only second to S.Korea in Asia. They are now 19th (2009) in the world ranking, and aspire to be 15th. In 2007 Iranian scientists at the Medical Sciences and Technology Center succeeded in mass producing an advanced scanning microscope—the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM).

Space technology

On August 17, 2008, The Iranian Space Agency proceeded with the second test launch of a three stages Safir SLV from a site south of Semnan in the northern part of the Dasht-e-Kavir desertmarker. The Safir (Ambassador) satellite carrier successfully launched the Omid satellite into orbit in February 2009. Iran is the 9th country to put a domestically-built satellite into orbit since the Soviet Union launched the first in 1957.


The Iranian government has committed 150 billion rials (roughly $17.5 million) for a telescope, an observatory, and a training program, all part of a plan to build up the country's astronomy base. Iran wants to collaborate internationally and become internationally competitive in astronomy, says the University of Michigan's Carl Akerlof, an adviser to the Iranian project. "For a government that is usually characterized as wary of foreigners, that's an important development".

Contribution of Iranians and people of Iranian origin to modern science

Scientists with an Iranian background have made significant contributions to the international scientific community. In 1960, Ali Javan invented first gas laser. In 1973, the fuzzy set theory was developed by Lotfi Zadeh. Iranian cardiologist Tofy Mussivand invented the first artificial heart and afterwards developed it further. HbA1c was discovered by Samuel Rahbar and introduced to the medical community. The Vafa-Witten theorem was proposed by Cumrun Vafa, an Iranian string theorist, and his co-worker Edward Witten. The Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) equation has been named after Mehran Kardar, notable Iranian physicist. Extraordinary because of multidisciplinary works at a young age, Ali Eftekhari is considered a founder of electrochemical nanotechnology and creator of surprising theories such as the Fractal Geometry of Literature. Other notable discoveries and innovations by Iranian scientists and engineers (or of Iranian origin) include:

International Rankings

  • According to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Iran increased its publication output nearly tenfold from 1996 to 2004, and has been ranked first in terms of output growth rate (followed by China).

  • Iran ranked 49th for citations, 42nd for papers, and 135th for citations per paper. Their publication rate in international journals has quadrupled during the past decade. Although it is still low compared with the developed countries, this puts Iran in the first rank of Islamic countries. According to a British government study (2002), Iran ranked 30th in the world in terms of scientific impact.

  • According to a report by SJT (A spanish sponsored scientific data data) Iran ranks 25th in the world in scientific publications by volume 2007 (a huge leap from rank 40 few years before)

Iranian Journals listed in the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI)

According to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Iranian researchers and scientists have published a total of 60,979 scientific studies in major international journals in the last 19 years.

Iranian neuroscientists gained international reputation.
This nature paper is an example of the research works carried out by young Iranians who did their training and research in Iran

  • Acta Medica Iranica
  • Applied Entomology and PhytoPathology
  • Archives of Iranian Medicine
  • Daru-Journal of Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Iranian Biomedical Journal
  • Iranian Journal of BioTechnology
  • Iranian Journal of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
  • Iranian Journal of Fisheries Sciences-English
  • Iranian Journal of Plant Pathology
  • Iranian Journal of Science and Technology
  • Iranian Polymer Journal
  • Iranian Journal of Public Health
  • Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
  • Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine
  • Iranian Journal of Veterinary Medicine
  • Iranian Journal of Fuzzy Systems
  • Journal of Entomological Society of Iran
  • Plant Pests & Diseases Research Institute Insect Taxonomy Research Department Publication
  • The Journal of the Iranian Chemical Society
  • Rostaniha (Botanical Journal of Iran)

See also


Prominent organizations


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  2. BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Riddle of 'Baghdad's batteries'
  3. Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology
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  6. C. Elgood, A medical history of Persia, Cambridge Univ. Press. p.173
  7. Transplantation Activities in Iran, Behrooz Broumand
  8. History of headache in medieval Persian medicine, The Lancet, Volume 1, Issue 8, December 2002, Pages 510-515
  9. Edward Granville Browne, Islamic Medicine, Goodword Books, 2002, ISBN 81-87570-19-9 p.79
  10. Archives Of Iranian Medicine
  11. Introduction to Urmia University
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  32. ::: Experimental and Clinical Tranplantation :::
  35. Iranian scientists produce GM rice : Middle East Latest News
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  46. Iranian High Schools Establish Robotics Groups
  52. Iran daily: Iranian Technology From Foreign Perspective
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  71. Iranian science according to ISI (2008)

External links

Prominent scientific organizations of Iran

Technology parks


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