New types of medical innovations enable previously unknown interventions into the nature of man. Culturally different interpretations and modes of behavior affect the handling of these fundamentally new challenges for society, culture, law, and politics. Genome editing, eugenics programs, modern reproductive technologies, and health apps that analyze our fitness and health data everyday are just some examples of Science, Technology, and Medicine changing various dimensions of individual and social life. As a result of these dynamic changes, questions arise as to how these developments shape socio-technical, socio-cultural, and socio-political processes. For a young and dynamic society like Turkey, these questions are particularly explosive. Dealing with them is thus of particular importance. On May 15, 2015, we launched the new research field “Human, Medicine, and Society”. It will focus mainly on the way society in Turkey deals with practices of Human Enhancement through medical innovations and thus understanding the developments in science, technology, and medicine in relation to their social contexts. With this research field, the Orient-Institut Istanbul broke new ground in Turkey, treating for the first time the current challenges of biotechnology, neurosciences, nano- and information technologies in the medical field. Central to the development of this research field is the close cooperation with the leading German scientific institution in this field, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). For this purpose, a cooperation agreement has been signed. To officially kick off the partnership, a ceremony took place at ITAS on Monday, December 7, 2015. As the research field “Human, Medicine, and Society” is currently still in development, you can find a few details of several (planned) individual projects on this website.
Reflections on dis-/abling practices
We are very happy to announce this exciting panel with the following speakers: David Parisi (Charleston) and Jason Archer (Chicago), Melike Sahinol (Istanbul), Denisa Butnaru (Freiburg) and Andreas Henze (Siegen). Convenor: Robert Stock (Konstanz).
Please come join us on July 1, 2017, 13.00-14.45 / J, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. (Notice the schedule update!)
Have a look at the definitive programme on the NECS-homepage.
ABSTRACT: This panel will analyze changing sensory regimes and emergent corpo-realities by looking at dis-/abling practices and exploring relevant examples within contemporary contexts of digital media or medial dispositives developed in medical sciences and robotics. According to Schillmeier, who analyzes blind money practices, the notion of “(visual) disability refers to complex sets of heterogeneous practices that (re)associate bodies, material objects, and technologies with sensory and other practices.” (2007: 197) Relations between biotechnologies (i.e. neuro-prostheses) and bodies provide the basis for new sensory practices…
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Medical Humanities Discussing Bodily Enhancement
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Brömer, Istanbul University Medical Faculty, Dept. for History of Medicine and Ethics
date: Wednesday, 19 April, 7PM UTC+02
location: Orient-Institut Istanbul, Susam Sok. 16, D. 8, Cihangir-Istanbul
We encourage you to share this invitation with people you know who may be interested in attending this event. There is no registration or conference fee
Enhancement has become a multidisciplinary topic par excellence, being discussed academically by physicians and natural scientists as well as ethicists, social, cultural and political scientists, and literary scholars and many more. What is the most suitable approach for society as a whole to make sense of the promises, chances, and possible threats of ever deeper techno-medical intervention into the human body?
Medical Humanities try to bridge the gap between the natural and human sciences of medicine and the humanity of medical practice. Questions of meaning (culture) and values (ethics) related to biomedical developments can be usefully addressed in this field where the exact, numeric sciences merge with the creative imagination of the arts, reflecting and anticipating potential human experiences in a world that may look fairly different from the conditions the human species has evolved in over the millennia. Maybe a good SciFi can achieve more than some academic textbook?
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rainer Brömer studied biology, philosophy, and history of science in Germany and Italy and has been working in medical humanities in England and in history of medicine and ethics in Germany and Turkey. His research area includes the attitude to the human body in anatomy in the Ottoman Empire, while in the realm of ethics, he has increasingly become interested in the meaning of permanently modifying the biological frame of human beings. As a lapsed biologist, he does not share the enthusiasm of certain philosophers who are postulating for themselves a life expectancy of centuries, though biotechnological change seems inevitable.
How did Ottoman physicians conceive of epidemic diseases and pestilence and their relationship to contagion? This talk addresses this question through the examination of a medical text composed by Mehmed IV’s (r. 1648-1687) head physician, Ḥayātīzāde Muṣṭafā Feyżī the Elder (d. 1692), or Moshe ben Raphael Abravanel, as he was known before he converted to Islam in the late 1660s. This work, el-Risāʾilü’l-Müşfiye li’l-emrāżı’l-müşkile, commonly known as the Quintet of Five Diseases discusses five “epidemic” diseases in the seventeenth century: syphilis, plica, the plague, and two kinds of melancholy. Trained as a physican in Padua, Italy, Ḥayātīzāde claims to present new information not found in the classical Islamic/Ottoman medical corpus. The Quintet of Five Diseases exemplifies how medical knowledge and conceptions of disease and contagion traveled across linguistic, state and religious borders in the early modern Mediterranean world.
About Dr. Sara Nur Yıldız: Currently a Koç University ANAMED Senior Fellow, Dr. Yıldız is a historian of the political, cultural, religious and intellectual life of late medieval Anatolia of the Seljuk, Mongol and Ottoman periods. She received her PhD from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago (2006). Her current research focuses on the Seljuks of Anatolia, as well as Islamization, textual production and the transfer of knowledge, and Islamic/Ottoman medical textual traditions. She has served as assistant professor at Istanbul Bilgi University (2003-2010), researcher at the Orient-Institut Istanbul (2011-2016), and research fellow on the European Research Council Project entitled “The Islamisation of Anatolia, c. 1100-1500,” based at the School of History, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK (2013-2016).
20 Mayıs 2017 sunumu “Yardımcı üreme tekniklerinin sosyokültürel etkileri (Prof. Dr. Ramazan Mercan)” elimizde olmayan sebeplerden dolayı iptal edilmiştir.
20 March 2017 talk “Yardımcı üreme tekniklerinin sosyokültürel etkileri (Prof. Dr. Ramazan Mercan)” is cancelled due to given circumstances.
20. März 2017 Vortrag “Yardımcı üreme tekniklerinin sosyokültürel etkileri (Prof. Dr. Ramazan Mercan)” fällt aus gegebenem Anlass aus.
Digital self measurement is an indication of societies to come. I will argue that this is nothing more than a modern-day return to the alchemistic principle. The starting point is always the “common” person, the human who is not yet fully developed, or the human who represents a risk or a source of error. With the help of quantification, one’s lifestyle is said to become more rational: “common” people should be transformed into “precious” people. On the one hand, high resolution data collections open the door to new possibilities of rational differentiation. However, self observation is not only becoming more exact, it is also becoming increasingly divisive. Being socially assessable is becoming increasingly tied to economic exploitability. And economic exploitability and rational observation represent an act of abstraction that alienates people from themselves and from others: We start to perceive ourselves differently when we all observe each other based on data.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Selke is professor of “Sociology and Social change” at the University of Furtwangen (http://en.hs-furtwangen.de/) in Germany. He is also a research professor for “Transformative and Public Science” (2015-2018). At the Furtwangen University he holds the positions of a senate representative for sustainable development and the vice dean of the faculty “Health, Safety and Society”. His current research interests are about the economy of poverty, reputation capital in the charity market, public science/public sociology and the digitalisation of society (in particular lifelogging and artificial intelligence).
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