Science, Technology, and Society in Turkey

This group traces the trajectory of STS in Turkey. 

Currently, it hosts two exhibits: 

1) An Archeology of STS in Turkeywhich focuses on the intellectual and institutional development of STS in Turkey.

2) Innovating STS in Turkey, which re-thinks the figurations and performances of STS in Turkey with a focus on microhistories and experimental interventions.

  • Science, Technology, and Society Platform in Turkey
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    IstanbuLab

    IstanbuLab (Science, Technology, and Society Platform in Turkey) was established in 2016, and held its first official meeting in January, 2017 at Koç University in Istanbul. On a cold day, a small group of people, who had been engaged with STS in one way or another, sat together and discussed the ways to build an infrastructure for such a platform. In the first 6 months, through the monthly meetings, a group of people continued to discuss various issues ranging from the name of the platform to its red lines, from membership to its focus. In this first period, people began to learn about and from each other, became friends, and more importantly, enjoyed time spent together: we read articles together, shared our different ways of engagements with STS, discussed why and how we do STS in Turkey, developed collective research projects, and so on. And, at the end of this period, we were ready to launch our website.

    *The image is the logo of IstanbuLab designed by Istanbul-based visual artist Mehmet Kurtuluş Tuncer in support of this newly established, independent STS initiative.

    IstanbuLab Website

    Since the members of IstanbuLab are located in different universities, in different cities, and even, in different countries, we were in need of a collective space: the idea of launching a website emerged out of such a need. The monthly meetings organized in different places -meeting rooms at our affiliated universities, our homes, coffee-shops - have been proving us temporal collective spaces. We decided that the only way for such a group to create a permanent location was in a virtual environment.

    The content of the website was prepared collectively, and designed as a partially dynamic and bilingual platform.* The site is constituted of seven main pages: 1) About - provides a general information about IstanbuLab's mission and vision; 2) People - contains information about group members; 3) Research -outlines research areas and research projects; 4) Blog - this is the most active page (Aybike Alkan and Mehmet Ekinci are coordinating the publication process); 5) STS -page provides general information about STS in the world and in Turkey, especially for the ones new in the field; 6) Events - where we announce the public events organized by IstanbuLab; 7) Contact.

     

    *Aybike Alkan and Duygu Kaşdoğan put generous labor during the installation and maintenance processes.

    Feminist technoscience interview series

    Feminist technoscience has been an important theme that informed our conversations from the beginning, as well as being a common theoretical and research interest for many members (https://stsistanbul.org/areas/). As such, one of the first projects for our blog happened to be dedicated to interviews with scholars in this field.

     Feminist technoscience (FSTS) interview series is a blog project among other projects such as interview series with STS scholars in Turkey and translation of related articles/pieces into Turkish.

    FSTS interview series was launched in April 2018 with the publication of an interview with Michelle Murphy, over her recent book "The Economization of Life.", conducted by Duygu Kaşdoğan.  It was followed by a  second interview with Marilyn Strathern, entitled "On the partible person, the relational individual and the multiplicities of kinship" and conducted by Onur Arslan (June 2018).   The most recent one in the series is the interview conducted by Aybike Alkan with Hélène Mialet: "Articulating the Scientist as a distributed-centered subject" (August 2018).

    STS Talks I

    In 2018, IstanbuLab launched an event series entitled "Science, Technology, Society Talks", curated by Ebru Yetişkin and Duygu Kaşdoğan.

    Science, Technology, Society Talks aims to introduce  STS in Turkey as well as increasing the democratic participation of public into the collective production of science, technology, and society with a focus on contemporary issues/discussions.

    This event series is held four times a year in the months of April-May and November-December. The guests from Turkey and abroad have a conversation with the audience around a specific theme. 2018 events are sponsored by the art center Akbank Sanat, located in Beyoğlu, İstanbul.

    The image on the left is the poster of the first event:*

    April 2018 | Social Media Abyss | Dutch media theorist and internet critic Geert Lovink was the first guest of the Science, Technology, Society Talks. In this event, Lovink, in conversation with Ebru Yetişkin, talked about the relation of social media to power-knowledge production from a critical perspective on the basis of his book Social Media Abyss, which is recently translated into Turkish and published by the Otonom Press. By focusing on the role of social media in the construction of power relations and social conflicts, the ways to construct a democratic and free society with and against social media were discussed.

    *Poster design by Mehmet K. Tuncer.

    STS Talks II

    This image is the poster of the second event in the series:

    May, 2018 | "A Laboratory" under scope | The second event of Science, Technology, Society Talks organized by IstanbuLab, and moderated by Maral Erol, opened a conversation with Prof. Dr. Reşit Canbeyli over the tradition of experimentalism and laboratories on the basis of his story of building a laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Boğaziçi University. “A Laboratory” Under Scope underlined that scientific interest cannot be limited to a summary of what others have done, and science cannot be seen as a linear practice devoid of failures and emotions. This talk emphasized the importance of laboratories to inspire young generations while activating an enthusiasm and passion for science and criticized the myth of lacking infrastructure, that is, the most important obstacle in Turkish scientific development.

    STS Collection

    The first STS collection in Turkey was published by the journal Toplum ve Bilim in July 2018. This issue entitled "Bilim, Teknoloji, Toplum" [Science, Technology, Society], and edited by Duygu Kaşdoğan, Maral Erol and Özgür Narin, is also the first collective publication work undertaken by IstanbuLab members with the aim to introduce STS as a field of study/discipline to the Turkish audience in response to the lack of introductory level written material This special issue did not aim to represent the field of STS in one way or another but rather be a modest contribution towards the development of intellectual infrastructure of STS in Turkey.

    The issue opens with an article entitled "An introduction for Science, Technology and Society Studies" that tells a story of STS in terms of its emergence and configuration in the world as well as providing the first findings of archaeological excavation towards understanding intellectual and institutional genealogies of STS in Turkey.

    The following three articles continue deepening a number of discussions in STS at theoretical/conceptual levels, such as actor-network theory, feminist technoscience, public understanding of scientific and technological controversies, science and art. The rest of the articles are organized thematically: 1) experts and infrastructures; 2) biology and biotechnologies; and 3) industry and production relations. Abstracts in English are available here, and below is the list of article titles and authors in the dossier:

    An introduction for Science, Technology and Society StudiesHACER ANSAL - MEHMET EKİNCİ - DUYGU KAŞDOĞAN

    A laboratory, yet another: Nettachmental curating | EBRU YETİŞKİN

    Social movements, networks and body | ÖZNUR KARAKAŞ

    “Gendering” science and technology: Feminist Science and Technology Studies | MARAL EROL

    Infrastructures in Science and Technology Studies: The black box of GAP | AYBİKE ALKAN

    The science of uncertainty: The expected Istanbul Earthquake and the anthropology of experts | EBRU KAYAALP - ONUR ARSLAN

    Eugenics as a “modern” technology and genetic sciences in the twenty-first century | MURAT ERGİN

    Making families in secrecy: Seeking forbidden biotechnologies as last resort abroad | BURCU MUTLU

    Bioeconomy: A thought experiment on the “political economy of life” | DUYGU KAŞDOĞAN

    Industry 4.0 and its impact on employment: Can it be an opportunity for women? | HACER ANSAL - NİHAN YILDIRIM

    A discussion on the implications and limits of Industry 4.0: Is “online capitalism” possible? | ÖZGÜR NARİN


    IstanbuLab: Meetings, Retreats

    Since the first official meeting of IstanbuLab in January 2017, the lab has made good progress towards developing STS in Turkey through volunteer, collective and transnational efforts. The organization of the lab is based on the ethics of care, commons, and collaboration. In Fall and Spring terms, monthly regular meetings are held to discuss current and future projects. The lab also hosts interested individuals/collectives during the monthly meetings from time to time to strengthen the collaboration culture. Twice a year, retreat meetings are organized so as to reflect on the past process, develop current projects, and create new ideas.

    Currently, the lab gets coordinated through seven working groups (academic research; academic publication; academic events; public events; social events; website/blog; and, transnational STS). To facilitate the collaborative work process, a coordinator is attained to each working group, with a 6 month rotation.

    IstanbuLab aspires to contribute towards the development of the intellectual infrastructure of STS in Turkey and beyond. To do so, lab members put generous labor beyond individual interests. Plans for its future direction involve efforts to strengthen ties with other transnational STS programs, networks, and projects, as well as fostering further communication and collaboration with scholars who work in and/or about Turkey.

  • STS Across Borders Logo
    STS Across Borders, Exhibit Catalog: 4S 2018, Sydney, Australia
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    STS Across Borders Banner Image

    STS Across Borders

    STS Across Borders is a special exhibit organized by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) to showcase how the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) has developed in different times, places and intellectual traditions. The gallery-style exhibit is part of the 2018 4S meeting in Sydney, Australia, August 29-September 1. The digital exhibit will open August 2018 and remain open access, with features that facilitate use in teaching, dialogue between different STS communities, and further elaboration of the history and plurality of STS. All STS Across Borders collections are oriented by a set of ten shared questions

    The digital exhibit is installed at infraStrucTureS, a digital archive, work space, and publishing platform for 4S and STS.  

    4S is an international scholarly society representing the field of STS, which brings together researchers who study how science, other forms of knowledge, technology, and culture entwine and develop in different contexts.

    East Asian Science, Technology, and Society: An International Journal

    Founded in 2007, East Asian Science, Technology and Society: an International Journal (EASTS) is the first and only one of its kind devoted to science, technology, and society (STS) studies in and for East Asia. EASTS originated from an idea by Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology to create an international journal to highlight the increasing importance of technoscience in East Asia and to showcase its impact on the rest of the world. EASTS has inherited intellectual resources from the history and philosophy of science, which has enjoyed a long presence in this region since the first half of the 20th century, and quickly built its reputation in the fields of science and colonialism, medical history, and deliberative democracy/ science controversies.
    After partnering with Duke University Press, EASTS experienced more visibility among scholars worldwide via 4S meetings, and it has expanded its territories of scholarship to South and Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, with a firm commitment to making East Asia a subject and method of doing STS, EASTS continues to discover new approaches and connections that provide a better understanding of how science and society are evolving and transforming this region and beyond.
    EASTS is published quarterly (March, June, September, and December). Each issue contains research articles and research notes (both peer-reviewed), book reviews, and occasionally forums, essays, and news and events. Half of the issues are thematic, aiming to capture emerging STS topics, to encourage engagement between East Asia and the rest of the world, or to refine methods and fields not yet studied from an STS perspective. Recent themes have included STS in Indonesia, psy-sciences (psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy)in East Asia, postcolonial studies through subimperial formations of medicine, and research misconduct in East Asia. We welcome individual submissions and encourage scholars to discuss their thematic issue proposals with EASTS’s editors.

    Author: Wen-Hua Kuo (National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan)

    IstanbuLab Logo

    A Media Archaeology of STS in Turkey

    This exhibit focuses on the intellectual and institutional trajectory of STS in Turkey. As a field of study, critical STS is relatively new in Turkey, starting with the establishment of the STS MA program in Istanbul Technical University in 2000. However, interest in discussing science and technology among social scientists in Turkey predated that, particularly in the form of policy studies that is exemplified in the graduate program of Science and Technology Policy Studies at the Middle East Technical University. A Media Archeology of STS in Turkey aims at excavating the fragmented material culture of STS in the last 20 years. The archeological records, which consist of various artefacts of STS, such as books, exhibition posters, articles, and reports, will uncover the challenges in institutionalizing STS in Turkey. The analysis of these excavations will also reveal some of the local characteristics of STS in Turkey: lack of institutional collaboration, archives and subversive critique.

    Authors: Duygu Kasdogan & Ebru Yetiskin (IstanbuLab – Science, Technology and Society Platform in Turkey, Turkey)

    STS in "Africa" in formation

    Many debates have ensued about the relationship between Science and Africa. Some hold that Africa had and still has its own very different conceptual and cognitive models which were not apparent to, or regarded by, the colonialists who first introduced western education to Africa. According to such logic, the reign of Science in Africa is therefore a super imposition of one culture (western) over another (African). But recent science and technology studies also raise questions about such binaries. Scholars like Mavhunga (2017) and others have established that if we take a broader notion of science, we can find it has been deeply rooted on the continent long prior to the colonial period. Following this vein, this exhibit takes its conception of STS in Africa very broadly and as part of an ongoing process of being "in formation" (also recognizing the fraught nature of using a categorical construct such as "Africa"). Acknowledging some of the tensions between an "indigenous" African practice of science and its global circulations and interests, the exhibit treats the continent as highly differentiated while simultaneously seeking to provide a cursory view of various communities of practice and scholarship related to STS taking place across the continent. Through interviews with diverse scholars and practitioners working in/on the continent and archival materials including reports, photos, and multimedia, the exhibit will provide insight into what has transpired related to STS in Africa to date and what key issues are being grappled with. In this way, this exhibit seeks to make a history and community of STS in Africa by drawing in even those individuals, groups and institutions which may not yet have self-identified as "STS."

    Authors: Angela Okune (University of California Irvine, U.S.A.), Aadita Chaudhury (York University, Canada)

    iHub Research (2011 - 2017): a critical technology action research group within Nairobi's flagship tech innovation hub

    iHub Research was officially launched in 2011 at the one-year anniversary of the iHub, one of the first co-working spaces in sub-Saharan Africa. As an example of a non-traditional research organization, iHub Research bridged a gap between the academy, private sector, public sector, and technology entrepreneurs, producing work that while not explicitly identified as "STS," in practice, was in line with the values and areas of interest of the field. As a non-academic research center striving to produce knowledge relevant for its community which could also be read by the academy and other stakeholders, we believe iHub Research should be considered a fundamental example of a key site of knowledge production offering critical perspectives on technology in Africa by and for the technology community in Kenya and beyond. We reflect on the enabling and constraining factors of iHub Research's growth over time as we track its journey as an experimental hub for knowledge production. This STS Across Borders exhibit will compile and document major research outputs and experimental research processes established under iHub Research. We will also include interviews with key members of the research team and highlight their ongoing work.

    Author: Angela Okune (University of California Irvine, U.S.A.) 

    Animating STS @ Drexel University

    Animating STS @ Drexel University

    Drexel University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) is a dynamic, interdisciplinary research and teaching unit anchored by more than two dozen joint, affiliated, and visiting faculty members. CSTS was established in 2012 to support Drexel’s existing graduate degree program (in STS), as well as to launch several undergraduate minors. The Drexel STS exhibit will feature individual and collaborative scholarship, Center events, and innovative teaching methods. The exhibit will feature research profiles for faculty members and current students, including images from fieldwork and responses to the following questions: How did you find your way into STS as a field of research? What STS theories, methods, and debates have most animated your work? What STS projects have you engaged in during your career? What future plans and visions do you have for your own STS scholarship, and that of the broader field; where do we need to go? Have there been Drexel events, courses, or networks that inspired or shaped your engagements with STS? The exhibit will also feature material from more than three dozen events hosted through CSTS’s colloquium series, including workshops, conferences, and symposiums. Responses to the above questions, faculty and student materials, and archived CSTS activities will be used narrate a reflective essay and multimedia exhibit that highlights what it means to animate STS across borders, including in our own universities.

    Authors: Ali Kenner, Eliza Nobles (Drexel University, U.S.A.)

    Huellas humanas y no-humanas

    SOCIO-TECHNICAL GEOGRAPHIES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD: A STORY OF STS IN CHILE

    The recent emergence of the community of researchers on Science, Technology and Society studies in Chile dates back approximately half a decade ago. These narratives and questions about knowledge and its materiality in our country have deep-rooted in politics, communication and history processes. In this sample, one representation of the multiple possible narratives of the emergence and evolution of the RedCTS and its ramifications throughout the territory of Chile is sought, analysing its geographical, epistemic, value and ontological positions, which allow to disseminate how a rhizome of people can become a community, which is found and co-produced through a chain of emails, meetings, alliances and multiple debates. This Geography will be deployed by visualization techniques of networks, maps and images that allow exploring, both materially and digitally, the connections that narrate the questions and trace the local roots of Science, Technology and Society Studies in Chile, with emphasis on the decade 2008-2018. We hope that this exhibition will allow us to elaborate a collective reflection on mobility, the trans-disciplinary construction and the center-peripheral tensions of our community in front of the Latin American geo-region and the world.

    Authors: Martín Andrés Perez Comisso (Arizona State University, U.S.A.), Pedro Pablo Seguel (University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A.), Ronald Cancino (Universidad de la Frontera, Chile), Nicolas Sanhueza (Nucleus ANT-Chile, Alberto Hurtado University, Chile), Joaquin Zerene (Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile)

    Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan

    Anthropologies of Science and Technology in Japan

    The exhibit explores genealogies of anthropologies of science and technology in Japan, focusing on the interactions among scholars and literatures in anthropology and STS. Scholars from many areas of the world have worked in and among these fields to bring shifting relations among “the West” and the rest into strong relief. Scholars in Japan have addressed similar issues, but their work has been inflected by the specific intellectual and institutional conditions that they face, producing scholarship that both draws on and diverges from that originating in the Euro-American mainstream. This exhibit delineates how anthropology and STS have intermingled and rearticulated formerly distinctive and separate fields, including (sub-)disciplines such as ecological anthropology, primatology, and medical anthropology, as well as topics such as materiality, embodiment, environment, and infrastructure. It will catalog and map relations among scholars and literatures in Japan to exhibit how STS has emerged within and across the political and intellectual boundaries of Japan. Specifically, the exhibit will collect and annotate key articles, journals, and books in Japanese and English, discuss the contributions of influential scholars, and highlight important debates that have taken place among researchers in Japan. Examples include articles that have appeared in journals such as NatureCulture and Bunkajinruigaku, and research projects such as “Environmental Infrastructures” and “A Comparative Study of ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ and ‘Modern Science.’” Selected sources will be digitally archived. Posters produced for this project will focus on key figures and debates.

    Authors: Miho Ishii (Kyoto University, Japan), Shuhei Kimura (Tsukuba University, Japan), Gergely Mohacsi (Osaka University, Japan), Moe Nakazora (Hiroshima University, Japan), Miki Namba (Hitotsubashi University, Japan), Grant Jun Otsuki (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Yoko Taguchi (Hitotsubashi University, Japan)

    4S Logo

    4S Across Borders: An STS Timeline

    This exhibit presents an institutional history of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). Founded in 1975, the evolution of 4S has been an important index of the development of the interdisciplinary research field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). At times in harmony and at times in discord, 4S has developed alongside departmental, regional, and programmatic efforts to synthesize social research on science and technology. Meanwhile, global events have also regularly shaped 4S priorities through demands on resources and attention in ways that have reconfigured STS across borders. This exhibit visualizes various currents that have produced the scholarly character of 4S over the years as a juxtaposition of multiple timelines that document various 4S initiatives: including, for example, annual conferences, journals and handbooks, governance mechanisms, presidents and council members, and recognition of scholarship, mentoring, and service through the institution of various prizes. In recognition of his contributions to 4S and to STS writ large, the exhibit will also feature a special timeline on the 2018 winner of the Bernal Prize, Trevor Pinch.

    Author: Joseph Klett (Science History Institute, U.S.A.)

    UCI Anthro STS

    The Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has a strong and creative STS core, rooted in the experimental origins of the university and radical interdisciplinary commitments of its School of Social Sciences, extended through the work of evolving clusters of anthropologists with commitments to feminist and postcolonial studies, American pragmatism, and the critical promise of ethnographic method. Today, there are strong threads of STS research focused on technology and financial inclusion,  environmental sciences and governance, digital and data cultures, and the politics of health and medicine. There is also shared interests in inventive uses of technology in research, and for visualizing and sharing research results. This exhibit will explore how these histories and interests intersect, taking both anthropology and STS in new directions.

    Authors: James Adams, Maggie Woodruff, Kim Fortun, Angela Okune, Nandita Badami, Taylor Nelms (University of California Irvine, U.S.A.)

    Caminata por la Ciencia Flyer, BioMuseo, Calzada de Amador, April 22, 2017

    Caminata por la Ciencia

    On April 22, 2017, scientists from various disciplines and sectors rallied down the Amador Causeway on the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal to call attention to multiple, local issues surrounding public funding of scientific research and education. In their call to become part of the March for Science, a social movement worldwide, Panamanian scientists considered and incorporated various political sensibilities and vulnerabilities in their design to stage la Caminata por la Ciencia and to not compromise what little state science funding they receive. For instance, the organizers insisted that this manifestacion, or public demonstration, should not be called marcha [a march] or protesta [a protest]. Mainly since these signifiers in some parts of Latin America can carry with them political valences that could quickly link public demonstrations to deeply present histories and memories of dictatorship, militarism, occupation, and related political upheavals. In staging the Caminata por la Ciencia to make their funding struggles more visible Panamanian advocates of science were able to articulate their political demands while recasting a long-standing tradition of manifestaciones callejeras [public demonstrations or, literally, street demonstrations] in more nuanced and tactful ways.

    At this demonstration, many supporters carried signs with the following messages:

    Sin Ciencia, no hay Futuro
    [There is no future without science]

    Ciencia es Futuro 
    [Science is Future]

    Creando Conciencia
    [Creating Conscience/Awareness, with a pun in Spanish "Creating With Science"]

    Exigimos politicas publicas basadas en evidencia.
    [We demand public policy based on evidence.]

    Mas ciencia, menos violencia.
    [More science, less violence]

    Apoyar la ciencia, es apoyor nuestro futuro.
    [To support science, is to support our future.]

    Author: Alberto Morales Ramirez (University of California Irvine, USA)