Safe the date: 10-12 September 2019, STS TURKEY 2019 Conference (Keynote: Prof. Dr. Wiebe Bijker) at Istanbul Technical University

STS TURKEY 2019 will take place at the Istanbul Technical University,  Turkey, on 10-12 September 2019; jointly organized by Istanbul Technical University, Program on “Science, Technology and Society” and Istanbul Technical University, Humanities and Social Sciences, supported by STS TURKEY.

STS TURKEY is delighted to announce that our keynote speaker is Prof. Dr. Wiebe Bijker (, who is a significant contributor to the field of Science and Technology Studies. Bijker’s fields of research include social and historical studies of science, technology and society.

The STS TURKEY 2019 conference will be in Turkish. We will report from the conference in Turkish and English on Twitter #ststurkey2019 and place it on the STS TURKEY website:

For more information please visit the Turkish conference site at

The Call for Abstracts (TR) is available here: STSTURKEY2019_BildiriCagrisi



First “Science, Technology and Society” STS TURKEY winter school

As one of the coordinators of STS TURKEY,  I am very proud to announce that we have successfully completed our first “Science, Technology and Society” STS TURKEY winter school.

A description for our STS TURKEY “Science, Technology and Society” winter school with the seminar topics can be found below.

Here are some impressions:


24-26 January 2019 // Orient-Institut Istanbul, Cihangir, Istanbul

As the Turkish Scholarly Network for Science and Technology Studies, one of the objectives of STS TURKEY is to increase the visibility of STS in Turkey by promoting STS research and STS training activities in Turkey and – since our foundation, we have been continuously and intensively working on the development and dissemination of STS in Turkey.

Our first Winter School aims to convey the basic STS theoretical frameworks, important concepts and will introduce participants to related discussions in the STS field, as requested from students and researchers from different fields.

The STS TURKEY Winter School „Science, Technology and Society“ will be held on 24-26 January 2019 in the meeting hall of the Orient-Institut Istanbul, Cihangir. 11 different senior researchers will provide valuable training in 11 different subjects and the Winter School will be completed with a half-day discussion, where the participants have the opportunity to discuss their current research subjects. You can find the course list below.

Course list

STS and Technology
Social construction of technology – Emine Öncüler Yayalar, Asst. Prof. Dr., Bilkent University
Actor-network theory and after – Harun Kaygan, Asst. Prof. Dr., Middle East Technical University
(Post) Phenomenology and Human Technology Relations – Melike Şahinol, Dr., Orient-Institut Istanbul
Feminist STS – Pınar Kaygan, Assoc. Prof. Dr., Middle East Technical University

STS and Science
History of Science – Feza Günergun, Prof. Dr., Istanbul University
Philosophy of Science – Aydan Turanlı, Prof. Dr., Istanbul Technical University
Science Communication – Arsev Umur Aydınoğlu, Asst. Prof. Dr., Middle East Technical University
Science and Society – Ali O. İlhan, Asst. Prof. Dr., Özyeğin University

STS and Law
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Law – Başak Ozan Özparlak, Dr., Lawyer
Biomedicine and law – Ipek Sevda Sögüt, Asst. Prof. Dr., Kadir Has University
Bioethics – Hakan Ertin, Assoc. Prof. Dr., Istanbul University

Organizer: STS TURKEY Coordination  (Arsev U. Aydinoglu, Harun Kaygan, Melike Sahinol)
Supported by: Orient-Institut Istanbul

Final program is available here: kis-okulu-program_v4.

Research Associate position at the Orient-Institut Istanbul – Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey

I am very happy to announce the STS related position of a “Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Istanbul – Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey”.


Vacancy:  Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Istanbul – Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey

The Orient-Institut Istanbul is currently seeking a doctoral or post-doctoral researcher to work on a project on „Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey: Between Empowerment and New Barriers (VALID-TR)“, for the following part-time position, available immediately:

Research Associate (90%), 12 months (salary based on the salary scale of German institutions in Turkey for locally hired personnel)

About the project
The project investigates practices and technologies of digital self-measurement (i.e. health devices and apps, e.g. health tracking apps, robotic walking aids, wearables) and how these are embedded in social processes. The focus is on the social, ethical, and cultural dimensions of those health devices. The current trend is characterized by the fact that these applications should motivate users to work independently, preventively, and actively on the positive development of their own health and lifestyle via practices of self-quantification. However, such forms of health self-management and monitoring may entail new forms of discrimination against vulnerable groups, for example people with chronic diseases or children. 

Applicants are expected to hold at least a master’s degree, preferably in the social sciences or the humanities. Those working on, or interested in, topics of health or medicine are especially encouraged to apply. Knowledge and skills in the field of Sociology of Medicine or Medicine, Science and Technology Studies, especially with regard to issues of e-Health in Turkey, Human Enhancement, the technologization/ quantification of the self and economies of life are beneficial. Competitive candidates will demonstrate expertise in qualitative research, especially in conducting interviews and ethnographic research.

Academic Turkish and English skills are required. German is preferable.

This job advertisement is aimed at qualified candidates committed to promoting interdisciplinary exchange and cooperation between the Orient-Institut Istanbul and the department of Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University. Candidates who qualify for doctoral studies may be considered for a PhD studentship at METU Industrial Design.

Workplace of the project will be at the Orient-Institut Istanbul.

We offer
The Orient-Institut Istanbul is an independent turcological and regional academic research institute of the Max Weber Foundation. Much of our work is conducted in cooperation with universities and independent academic institutions, both in Turkey and abroad. The institute also contributes to the scientific exchange between Germany and Turkey. For this project the key cooperation partner of the Orient-Institut is the Furtwangen University of Applied Sciences, with its project “Digitale Gesundheitsdaten zwischen sozialer Inklusion und sozialer Robustheit (VALID)” (project principle: Prof. Dr. Stefan Selke). Our VALID-TR project partner in Turkey is the Department of Industrial Design (Asst. Prof. Dr. Harun Kaygan) of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara.

The Orient-Institut Istanbul is committed to raising the number of women in research. Female researchers are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities are treated with preference given comparable qualification.

Applications must be submitted electronically as a single pdf document including a letter of motivation, an academic CV and diplomas. Please include the contact information for two academic referees.

Application deadline: December 15, 2018

Please submit your complete application to:

Prof. Dr. Raoul Motika
Director of the
Orient-Institut Istanbul
Susam Sokak 16 D.8
34433 Cihangir-Istanbul

For any questions about the application procedure, please contact:
Dr. Melike Şahinol (“Human, Medicine and Society”) at






WorldCafé: Quo vadis Human, Transhuman, Posthuman? Farklı boyutlara, farklı bakışlar

The STS TURKEY coordination team is co-organizing the WorldCafé which deals with the leading question Quo vadis Human, Transhuman, Posthuman? with Middle East Technical University, Department of Philosophy and Applied Ethics (Ankara, Turkey).

The table hosts will cover following topics: Human Enhancement, Mass Surveillance, self-driving vehicles, human-robot conflicts in workplaces, AI Ethics, morality of machines and Future Studies.

The event takes place on November, 28, 5:00-7:00 p.m. within the scope of the 3rd National Conference on Applied Ethics (November 28-30, Turkish speaking conference) at Middle East Technical University, Ankara (Turkey).

I am very happy to be part of the WorldCafé team (and one of the table hosts) and excited to experience the power of collective knowledge.3UEKWorldCafeSTSTURKEY

For more information (turkish): 3UEK_WorldCafe_28Kasım2018 or visit the conference website.

Panel: Science and Technology on the Silk Road: Past and Present Practices, Future Perspectives in Turkey

This Panel was organized for the Turkologentag 2018: Turkologentag 2018: 3rd European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman & Turkish Studies (Bamberg, Germany), September 19-21, 2018 (organizers: Melike Şahinol, Orient-Institut Istanbul, together with Arsev Aydınoğlu and Harun Kaygan, Middle East Technical University, Ankara and Cansu Guner-Birdal, Technical University of Munich)

Science and Technology on the Silk Road: Past and Present Practices, Future Perspectives in Turkey

Historically Turkey has been for distant cultures and communities a locus for the exchange of diverse merchandise, of ideas and knowledge, of science and technology, not least medical and military technologies. Once a scientific, technological and philosophical hub, today the overwhelming pace of developments in fields of Science and Technology seems to have curbed the emergence of much-needed debates on the social dimensions of those developments and their historical precursors and homologues in Turkey. There is, for instance, the mind-blowing Human Enhancement Technologies (e.g. Reproductive Technology, Plastic Surgery, Human Genetic Engineering, Neurotechnology, Cyberware, 3D bioprinting, etc.) entering the public eye through science communication as well as fiction, even being encountered more and more often in everyday life. The almost-ubiquity of such technologies is in strong contrast with the institutional absence and academic underrepresentation of Social Studies of Science and Technology, together with the lack of institutionalized Technology Assessment in Turkey. Within such a picture, Turkey could be viewed as a contested space where manifold communities, organizations, government apparatuses, technologies, as well as diverse discourses, epistemologies, systems of belief and regimes of value co-exist in flux, contributing to the production and reception of scientific knowledge and technology.

In this panel we draw on studies to critically engage with the socio-cultural, historical and techno/bio/political dimensions in Turkey, triggered by following fields: Governance and Education of S&T, Healthcare and health / genetic data privacy in Turkey.

The first presentation aims to evaluate the role attributed to, the objectives of, and steps taken towards higher education institutions within science and technology policies of Turkey. To this end, decisions taken up until this date and evaluations conducted on pre-determined goals, by The Supreme Council for Science and Technology (SCST), will be investigated.

The second presentation focuses on the theoretical basis in the history of Islamic Medieval Medicine, specifically Avicennian system of medicine which had been the prevalent paradigm in the Ottoman Empire until the reception of modern medicine. In this regard, the paper also discusses whether to see past practices as a contribution to future perspectives.

The third paper reveals issues concerning the medical field specific to the current Turkish context. It draws on a series of focus groups, involving participants from university, government, civil society, law, banking, industry and press, to assess the Personal Data Protection law of Turkey for its implications on electronic health and genetic data collection.

The three papers have a coinciding interest in the role of scientific research vis-a-vis the society at large, from the role of universities and research in general, to the specific issues of medicine in the past and present. We need to underline the role of academic, critical assessment in directing social views and uses of scientific development.


Paper 1 (turkish): Türkiye’nin Bilim Teknoloji Politikalarında Yükseköğretimin Rolü Üzerine Bir İnceleme
Arş. Gör. Dr. Umut MORKOÇ, Adıyaman Üniversitesi, Felsefe Bölümü
Doç. Dr. M. Cem KAMÖZÜT, Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, Felsefe Bölümü

Bilim ve teknoloji alanında 20. yüzyılın başında yaşanan büyük gelişmeler, devletlerin bilim ve teknoloji çalışmalarına gösterdikleri önemin artmasına yol açmıştır. Özellikle 2. Dünya Savaşı sonrasında, soğuk savaş dönemi ve iki kutuplu dünya düzeninin politik güç denklemleri içerisinde etkin bir araç olduğunu ispat eden bilim ve teknoloji çalışmaları, devletlerin kalkınma hedeflerinde daha belirleyici bir rol üstlenmeye başlamıştır. 20. Yüzyılın son çeyreğinden itibaren ise bilim ve teknoloji çalışmalarının ekonomik değer yaratabilme potansiyeli ön plana çıkmıştır. Bu sebeple, bilim ve teknoloji politikaları devletlerin kalkınma hedefleri ve gelecek planlamaları açısından önem arz etmektedir. Yükseköğretimin ise bu politikalar içerisinde özel bir yeri vardır; zira yükseköğretim kurumları bilim ve teknoloji çalışmalarının önemli bir ayağını oluşturan nitelikli iş gücünün yetiştirildiği ve bilimsel üretimin merkezi konumundaki kurumlardır.

Çalışmamızda, Türkiye’nin bilim ve teknoloji politikaları içerisinde yükseköğretime biçilen rolün, bu konuda belirlenen amaçların ve atılan adımların değerlendirilmesi hedeflenmektedir. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, Bilim ve Teknoloji Yüksek Kurulu’nun (BTYK) bugüne kadar almış olduğu kararlar ve belirlenen hedefler konusunda yapmış oldukları değerlendirmeler incelenecektir. Örneklemi bu şekilde belirlemiş olmamızın iki gerekçesi var. Bunlardan ilki, BTYK’nın ülkenin uzun vadeli bilim politikalarının belirlenmesi noktasında etkin bir rol üstlenmek üzere kurulmuş olmasıdır. İkincisi ise BTYK’nın kurulmuş olduğu 1983 yılına kadar –1979 yılında dördüncü beş yıllık kalkınma planında teknoloji politikalarından söz edilmesi dışında— sistemli ve bütünlüklü bir teknoloji politikasından söz edilemeyecek olmasıdır.

Bu amaçla, BTYK’nın 1983-2016 yılları arasında yapmış olduğu 29 toplantıya dair yayınlanmış belgelerden hareketle, Türkiye’nin bilim ve teknoloji politikaları içerisinde yükseköğretime nasıl bir rol biçildiği, bu yönde nasıl kararlar alındığı, belirlenen hedeflere ulaşabilmek için ne gibi adımlar atıldığı ele alınacaktır. Son olarak, “nasıl bir yükseköğretim stratejisine sahip olunmalı?” sorusunun tartışmaya açılması hedeflenmektedir.


Paper 2: An Inquiry of Future Perspective in Avicennian System of Medicine
Asst. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Yavuz, Istanbul Medeniyet University, History of Science Department

In this study, I will focus on the theoretical basis in the history of Islamic Medieval Medicine. Having in consideration with the great physician and philosopher Ibn Sina -well known as Avicenna in Latin- and his predecessors in medicine like Hippocrates and Galenos, this study will point some “past practices” dominated in the history of medicine in the Islamic Medieval World. These past practices may lead to or yield our “future perspectives” in many ways.

I will question whether we can name these theoretical basis and past practices as ‘Islamic’ -regarding the religion-, ‘Islamicate’ -regarding the dominating religious sphere-, or ‘Arabic’ -regarding the lingua franca- in Medieval Medicine. Among the questions I will also pursue are, whether Islamic / Islamicate Medieval Medicine is an imitation of Greek Medicine, or it be a kind of synthesis in the medieval world with its unique characters. On which scientific and philosophical principals it was standing and how these principles interacted with each other, etc. I will try to answer these questions regarding the Avicennian system of medicine given in his famous work Al Qanun fi’t Tibb, that has been one of the best examples of our understanding of medicine and nature, until its time. Even this system of medicine was prevalent by means of the theoretical basis almost until the reception of modern medicine in the Ottoman Empire.

I will conclude with comparison of two major models in the philosophy of contemporary medicine, the biomedical medicine versus humanistic medicine, with a final question: Can Islamic Medicine in past, contribute our future perspectives?


Paper 3: Focus Group Meetings: Personal Data Protection Law and Health/ Genetic Data Privacy in Turkey
Dr. Özlem Özkan, Middle East Technical University, Department of Health Informatics

Recently, many important legal developments have happened in Turkey on data privacy. The first Personal Data Protection (PDP) law of Turkey came into force on March 24, 2016. However, debates on the law have not been over since the date, even a lawsuit was filed for cancellation of it.

In this study, we have gathered the experts in two focus group meetings in order to answer the problems on the law in the light of electronic health/genetic data collection. Totally, 18 participants (7 and 11) attended to the meetings from academia, non-governmental organizations, ministry of health, insurance companies, printed press and private sector.

During the discussions, the new PDP law and regulations were evaluated. Problems and possible solutions, technological and political dimensions, past and present practices, future perspectives of this legal change in Turkey were discussed. The law compared with the rest of the world and implementation examples were listed. Furthermore, collecting and processing of sensitive data, mostly genetic data in Turkey were discussed. With the permission of the participants, both of discussions were audio-recorded and verbatim transcribed for analysis. The steps of thematic analysis method had been taken for data analysis. In general, none of the participants were against the collection of health/genetic data; contrarily they believe that it is necessity but the new Turkish PDP law has many problems on protecting the privacy of the data owner. In short, the frame of collectable data and the exceptions define data process without consent are too wide in the law.

Impressions from #stsdiaspora panel @easst2018

Slightly late, but better late than never here are some impressions from our panel “Colliding theories, cultures, and futures. STS view(s) beyond the horizon. Or: STS diaspora” at the EASST 2018 conference “Meetings – Making Science, Technology and Society together”:

Panel description
We invite contributions that focus on practices of Science and Technology in Society in different cultural, historical and theoretical settings (especially outside of the US and Europe), shedding light on heterogeneous ways S&T can be studied in Societies and be (per)formed now and in the future.

Long abstract

Insofar as the US and Europe, especially the UK, represents the “centre” of STS as a discipline, so does a canonical literature. The boundaries of the centre is shaped by its peripheries, multiple and fluctuating: research students in the centre who undertake their case studies in the elsewheres, new PhDs going back home to teach, local STS experts and its neighboring disciplines who aspire for international recognition; as well as academics in disciplines that are not traditionally associated with STS literatures who benefit from and hope to contribute to theories and debates of STS. The special session aims to bring up for discussion the centre-periphery relations that make up STS scholars together with its political implications.

Heterogeneous practices and interpretations in different cultural settings thus shape our understandings of Science and Technology in a wide variety of ways. Against this backdrop, we invite papers dealing with (i) STS meeting within the fieldworks’ situation, (ii) how STS researchers themselves influence their societal context (if so, is there a Western normativity in the way “doing STS at home”), (iii) how do S&T develop under colliding or meeting aspects of Western STS and “(Middle)Eastern” or “African”, etc., (iv) what differences in the understanding of S&T can be identified regarding this clash, (v) which socio-technical practices are developing under which previously unseen “new religiosities”, and finally (vi) we would like to find out how new alliances and forms of cooperation across borders can be possible, and how this may create new futures for STS.

You can find the abstracts for the #stsdiaspora panel here: STS_diaspora.


  • Melike Sahinol (Orient-Institute Istanbul)
  • Arsev Aydinoglu (Middle East Technical University)
  • Harun Kaygan (Middle East Technical University)
  • Cansu Guner-Birdal (Technical University of Munich)


Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D Drucker

Im Rahmen des am 17. und 18. April 2018 stattfindenden Symposiums „Digitale Selbstvermessung zwischen Empowerment und neuen Barrieren“ werde ich den Vortrag „Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D-Drucker“ halten.

Der gesellschaftliche Trend zur Überwindung der “Natur des Menschen” zeichnet sich insbesondere durch neue technologische Möglichkeiten der Selbstmodifikation und Leistungssteigerung des Selbst aus. Zumeist durch die sogenannten Human Enhancement Technologies hervorgerufen und ermöglicht, treten Praktiken der Körpermodifikation gleichzeitig als Enabler, als ermöglichende Technologien für vulnerable Personengruppen außerhalb einer über die “Normalmaße” hinausgehende Verbesserungskultur auf. Dabei prägen kulturelle Praktiken und gesellschaftliche Umstände das Verständnis von (Gesundheits-)Technik und Körper und wirken auf die Dynamiken von gegenwärtigen und (nicht)medizinischen Körpermodifikationspraktiken zurück. Deshalb ist ein verstärkter interdisziplinärer und internationaler Blick auf Technologien des Selbst wichtig.

Der Beitrag “Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D-Drucker” diskutiert geeignete Zugänge und Methoden zur Befragung vulnerabler Gruppen, um potentielle sozio-technische Entwicklungen im Rahmen einer interdisziplinären Methode zu untersuchen. Dies geschieht anhand des am Orient-Institut Istanbul durchgeführten Projekts „Additive Manufacturing: Enabling-Technologien in der Kindheit“, dass sich mit dem Technikentwicklungsprozess der 3D gedruckten Prothese „Robotel“ (türkisch für Roboterhand) für vulnerable Kinder aus technik- und körpersoziologischer Perspektive beschäftigt. Im Mittelpunkt des Forschungsinteresses steht u.a. die Frage danach, welchen Einfluss Kinder und ihre Körper selbst auf den Technikentwicklungsprozess – unter Einbezug kultureller und sozialer Gegebenheiten – haben. (Gesundheits-)Technik und Körper werden so unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Vulnerabilität des/der Techniknutzers bzw. –nutzerin, der/die gleichzeitig Technikkonstrukteur/in ist, in den Blick genommen.

Beteiligung am Projekt „Digitale Gesundheitsdaten zwischen sozialer Inklusion und sozialer Robustheit.“

Das Orient-Institut Istanbul (resp. Dr. Melike Şahinol) hat sich an dem vom Bundesministerium für Gesundheit eingereichten und Ende 2017 genehmigten Verbundantrag „Digitale Gesundheitsdaten zwischen sozialer Inklusion und sozialer Robustheit. Risikoethische Abschätzung digitaler Selbstvermessung im Gesundheitswesen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung vulnerabler Personengruppen (VALID)“, welches von Prof. Dr. Stefan Selke an der Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Furtwangen geleitet wird, beteiligt. Dem OII wurde ein Auftrag im Rahmen dieses Projekts zugesprochen.
Im Rahmen der Auftaktveranstaltung „Digitale Selbstvermessung zwischen Empowerment und neuen Barrieren“, die am 17. und 18. April 2018 stattfinden wird, wird Melike Şahinol den Vortrag „Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D-Drucker“ halten. Das Programm zur Veranstaltung findet sich hier.

Das VALID-Projekt
Das Projekt untersucht, wie Technologien der digitalen Selbstvermessung (Schrittzähler, Fitnesstracker, Smartwatches, Gesundheits-Apps) in Gesellschaftsprozesse eingebettet sind. Der aktuelle Trend wird dadurch geprägt, dass diese Anwendungen motivieren sollen, eigenverantwortlich, präventiv und aktiv an der positiven Entwicklung der eigenen Gesundheit zu arbeiten. Eine weitere Forschungsfrage ist die Suche nach neuen Formen der Diskriminierung vulnerabler Personengruppen, bspw. Menschen mit chronischen Erkrankungen oder Kindern. Denn es ist nicht klar, was passiert, wenn vulnerable Gruppen technisch gesetzte „Standards“ nicht erfüllen bzw. es ihnen nicht möglich ist, sie sogar nicht fähig sind, mit modernen Technologien ihre Gesundheitsdaten zu erfassen. Gleichsam treten Fragen nach eine systematischen Benachteilung vulnerabler Gruppen in der „Enhancementkultur“ auf. Wer definiert in Zukunft, welche Körper als „gesund“ angesehen werden und welche Folgen sind damit für Individuen und Gesellschaft verbunden?

Auf Basis seiner Türkei-Kompetenz wird sich das Orient-Institut Istanbul im Rahmen des Projekts insbesondere mit der Recherche zu den unterschiedlichen normativen Rahmungen digitaler Selbstvermessung in der Türkei und den sich daraus abzuleitenden ethischen Kriterien aus einer interkulturellen Perspektive beschäftigen. Dabei ist die Frage, unter welchen Umständen selbst und freiwillig erhobene digitale Daten zu einem sozial stratifizierenden Gut werden und welche individuellen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen damit verbunden sind, besonders relevant.


STS TURKEY 2018 bildiri özeti son başvuru tarihi: 1. Nisan 2018

STS TURKEY 2018 Toplum için Bilim ve Teknoloji Çalışmaları Konferansına bildiri özeti ile son başvuru tarihi, gelen istek üzerine 1 Nisan 2018’e uzatılmıştır. Değerlendirme süreçlerinin aksamaması için ikinci bir uzatma yapılmayacaktır.

Konferans hakkında bilgi ve önemli tarihler için adresine girebilirsiniz.

İlginize çok teşekkür ederiz. Uzatma duyurusunu ilgilenecek tüm taraflarla paylaşmanızı rica ederiz.


STS TURKEY Koordinasyonu