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

CfP: Science and Technology on the Silk Road: Past and Present Practices, Future Perspectives in Turkey
Deadline: January 15, 2018

Turkologentag 2018: 3rd European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman & Turkish Studies Bamberg (Germany), September 19-21, 2018

This panel, organized by Dr. Melike Şahinol (Orient-Institute Istanbul, “Human, Medicine, and Society”), Asst. Prof. Dr. Arsev Umur Aydinoglu (METU, TEKPOL Research Center) and Asst. Prof. Dr. Harun Kaygan (METU, Industrial Design), and co-organized by Cansu Guner-Birdal (Technical University Munich, Munich Center for Technology in Society), will focus on Studies on Science and Technology on the past and present Turkey, and on future perspectives on Science and Technology Studies 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.

We invite contributions that draw on case studies to critically engage with the socio-cultural, historical and techno/bio/political dimensions in Turkey, triggered by but not limited to following fields: Governance of S&T, Energy and Sustainable Development, Information and Communication Technologies, Industry 4.0, Emerging Technologies, Healthcare and Life Science. We highly encourage contributors on chasing specificities of Turkish examples possibly contributing to the general STS literature, while grounding the cases with sounded theories like socio-technical imaginaries, ANT or any other related conceptual bases.

Panel language will be English and Turkish.

Please send abstract proposals to the panel conveners Dr. Melike Şahinol (, Asst. Prof. Dr. Arsev Umur Aydinoglu (, Asst. Prof. Dr. Harun Kaygan (, and Cansu Guner-Birdal (, not longer than 250 words, latest by 15 January 2018. Accepted paper givers will be notified latest by 25 January 2018. After that date, the whole panel application will be submitted to the conference organization team.

Methodology Lab: Grounded Theory Methodology and computer-assisted analysis with ATLAS.ti

From January 2018, Dr. Melike Şahinol (Orient-Institut Istanbul) is organizing a methodology lab in which current research projects can be presented and discussed. In particular, it deals with the methodological implementation of Grounded Theory and  computer-assisted analysis with ATLAS.ti. For more details see: Turkish-speaking description.

STS TURKEY meets DASTS: Report

Report on the visit to Aalborg University, Techno-Anthropology Lab (TANT-lab) and Center for Medical Science and Technology, Copenhagen University:

In the course of the founding of STS TURKEY, the initiators have already made contact in advance with regard to future cooperations with international STS networks. STS TURKEYs coordinatiors received a pleasingly high positive response. The following report is about the beginning of a STS network collaboration between STS TURKEY and DASTS - the Danish Association for Science and Technology Studies.
At the start of the partnership, our founding member Dr. Melike Sahinol (Orient-Institute Istanbul, OII) was invited by Prof. Dr. Torben Elgaard Jensen for the period from 11-13. November to Aalborg University. Torben Elgaard Jensen is a former chairman of DASTS and leader of the Techno-Anthropology Research Group at Aalborg University.
On November 11th, Torben and Melike mainly discussed the beginnings of the founding of DASTS and STS TURKEY. Torben explained how DASTS evolved from a small group (2006) into a network of over 500 members. He showed the informative DASTS website, pointing out that STS TURKEY members have also the opportunity to submit papers. In this context, Melike reported on the current efforts of researchers of Istanbul Technical University, Middle East Technical University, OII and Istanbul University to establish a STS TURKEY Journal. They also discussed how DASTS and STS TURKEY could play a key role in (student) exchange programs between universities in Denmark and Turkey. Possibilities of collaboration were discussed as main issues. Torben showed Melike a very impressive video "Datasprints: Doing Things Together. Fast.", which is about fast and effective collaboration. In this short video the concept of datasprints and its use by TANT-lab is illustrated through the example of TANT-labs sprint on obesogenic environments with the Governing Obesity project ( The TANT-Lab is located under the Techno-Anthrolopology Research Group at the Institute for Learning and Philosophy.
The following day, Melike had a meeting with Prof. Dr. Klaus Lindgaard Høyer, who is Professor at the Center for Medical Science and Technology Studies at the University of Copenhagen. Klaus and Melike discussed about the numerous thematic interfaces between Melike’s research area "Human, Medicine and Society" at the OII and the Medical STS Center at the Copenhagen University. They also discussed opportunities for student exchange programs and the ability to jointly organize videoconferences.
In the evening, Melike gave a public talk at TANT-lab on "Brain Computer Interfaces: The ‘techno-cerebral subject’ as a bio-technical form of the cyborg" followed by a discussion (pre-announced on the DASTS website:
On November 13th, Melike participated in an event on the EU Data Protection Directive and the handling of personal data in social science projects.
During her 3-day stay, she met some STS Scholars, who also showed great interest in cooperation.
Overall, the visit was considered successful. STS TURKEY is very happy to to start a collaboration with an internationally known STS Network partner like DASTS. The cooperation will in future include joint workshops and conferences. This cooperation is intended to benefit students of STS Turkey network members in particular. We thank both Prof. Ass. Christopher Gad (current chairman of DASTS, Technologies in Practice, IT-University of Copenhagen) for the coordination of the meeting, as well as Prof. Dr. Torben Elgaard Jensen for the warm invitation and the given insights.