In the opening pages of one of my books, Geek Nation
, I describe an ancient Indian mathematical text known as the Bakhshali Manuscript. It is thought to contain one of the first graphical representations of the zero, which is a crucial concept in science and mathematics. Since 1902 this precious, fragile document has been stored in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, where I first saw it about seven years ago.
Now, finally, the Bakhshali Manuscript is being carbon dated so that scientists and historians can understand its full significance. To mark this special moment, I returned to Oxford for Radio 4. You can hear my thoughts and interviews on Inside Science
If you would like to see the manuscript for yourself, it will go on display at the Science Museum in Autumn 2017 as part of an exciting new exhibition on Indian science.