Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA


Dr. Salman Hameed

Director, Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies; Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities, Hampshire College

Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars— Iranian Society, Gender Expectations, and the Universe

Dr. Salman Hameed took a look into Iranian society through the eyes of a teenage girl who studies the night skies. After the screening, there were telescopes set up outside the cinema for stargazing. Part of the 2016 National Evening of Science on Screen.

Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA

Film Synopsis

Sepideh Hooshyar, an Iranian teenager, dreams of becoming an astronaut, but cultural and economic factors make her goal difficult to achieve.

Sepideh wants to become an astronaut. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the ground. The expectations for a young Iranian woman are very different from Sepideh's ambitions, and her plans to go to university are in danger. But Sepideh holds on to her dream. She takes up the fight and teams up with the world's first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari.

About the Speaker

Dr. Salman Hameed is the director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies. He is Charles Taylor Chair and associate professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. His primary research interest focuses on understanding the reception of science in the Muslim world and how Muslims view the relationship between science and religion.

He recently led a four-year National Science Foundation-funded study on the reception of biological evolution in diverse Muslim societies. He is also leading a study to understand and analyze the discourse and participants in online Islam and Science videos. He teaches “Evolution, Islam, and Modernity”, “Science in the Muslim World”, "Creating science fiction short films using real science" (with Dr. Jason Tor), and “Science & Religion: Biological evolution in the public sphere” at Hampshire College.

Dr. Hameed also runs Irtiqa, a science and religion blog with an emphasis on scientific debates taking place in the Muslim world. He also hosts Science ka Adda, an online astronomy video series in Urdu, and has a regular astronomy segment for the Bill Newman show on WHMP and for Monte Belmonte on WRSI.