Dr Silke Ackermann studied History, Languages & Cultures of the Orient, and History of Science at Frankfurt University. She worked for 16 years in curatorial and managerial roles at the British Museum in London before taking up a professorship at a private university in Germany. In 2014, she returned to the UK to join the History of Science Museum at the University of Oxford. Dr Ackermann’s main research interests include the transfer of knowledge between the Islamic World and Europe, Medieval and early modern scientific instruments in cultural and social context, and the history of astrology and calendars in Europe and the Islamic World.

As Director of the History of Science Museum, Dr Ackermann is working with her team to further develop the museum as an international centre for research, teaching and public engagement. An important part of this work has been the development of the award-winning Multaka-Oxford Project. ‘Multaka’ translates from Arabic to English as ‘meeting point’. Multaka-Oxford uses museums and collections as a meeting point for people to share experience, knowledge and skills. The project works in a three-way partnership of staff, volunteers and local community to create a platform for cultural dialogue.