STS Courses in Turkey


STS Courses

Despite the small number of STS and STS-related educational programs in Turkey, there are considerable STS courses offered by different departments at various universities. The earlier attempts to teach STS courses go back to the 1990s, when the course "Science, Technology, and Society" began to be offered to the engineering students at Bilkent University, Ankara. Professor Haldun M. Ozaktas reflects back on this process in his article entitled "Teaching Science, Technology, and Society to Engineering Students: A Sixteen Year Journey" (2013). There, he explains the motive behind the opening of an STS course at Bilkent for engineering students as such (p. 1440): 

During the early nineties, gaining ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accreditation became a goal for elite universities in Turkey. Until that time the need for incorporating ethics or social dimensions courses in engineering programs had not been felt by most institutions. ABET clearly specified this as an essential component, but there was neither any institutional experience nor examples to follow in Turkey. I took this opportunity to propose this course in 1995 and since then it has been the key course in meeting ABET requirements on ethics and social dimensions.

In a recent email correspondence with Prof. Ozaktas, he noted that this course had been taught to 600 students in one session; and recently, different sessions were opened to have smaller class sizes. The course is taught by a group of instructors who earned their doctoral degree in STS, including, Eric Deibel (from Holland), Robin Downey (from Canada), and Emine Onculer Yaylalar (from Turkey). 

Besides this course at Bilkent, there are also similar courses offered to engineering students at different universities, such as Doğuş University and Boğaziçi University. Examples of other STS-related courses at the graduate level include, "Tıp, Teknoloji ve Bilim Tarihi" [Medicine, Technology, and History of Science] under the Bioethics graduate program at Acıbadem University (in Turkish); "History of Science and Technology" under the Science of Strategy graduate program at Gebze Technical University; and, "Social Theory of Science and Technology" under the graduate program Design, Technology, and Society at Özyeğin University.

Examples of elective STS courses include Science, Technology and Society course offered by the Department of Sociology at Koç University at the graduate level, and Sociology of Science and Technology that is offered in the same program at the undergraduate level. After the recent decision to get rid of the Science, Technology and Society major in the Humanities and Social Sciences program at Işık University, all the STS courses in this department can also be listed under the elective courses offered to the rest of the college population (for further information, here is the link to an essay about the developments at Işık).



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Contributed date

August 7, 2018 - 7:59pm

Critical Commentary

This text provides a general information about STS courses offered under different programs/department at a number of universities, which are not necessarily home to any STS program.



Cite as

Duygu Kaşdoğan, "STS Courses in Turkey", contributed by Duygu Kasdogan, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 16 August 2018, accessed 9 December 2022.