Greetings to Benjamin’s storytellers!
One of the exciting materials included in this collection is about stories around Sıtkı Bey, a not well-known figure in the history of science, whose story becomes visible during the preparation of a documentary about Turkey’s nuclear stories (Nuclear Alla Turca), and to an STS scholar (Maral Erol) during an occasional conversation with the documentary maker (Can Candan). Stories tell stories tell stories... (Greetings to Haraway!). And, STS gets regenerated…
Maral Erol’s interview with Can Candan, and the essay she wrote, which reflects on this interview open a significant space to think about the ways we select and tell stories as STS scholars: Whose story count to whom and why? Why is the story of Sıtkı Bey worth taking into consideration to both Candan and Erol? What makes a difference in telling a story as an STS scholar alongside an artist? Multiple answers would emerge, and the interview and essay included in this collection provide some insights to begin deeply thinking around these questions as a way to innovate STS in Turkey.
When we attend to the story Candan tells in the interview alongside Erol’s essay, Sıtkı Bey’s story becomes a story about three-layered knowledge making and communication: (1) Sıtkı Bey’s scientific knowledge and its communication in the public space (via a newspaper); (2) Candan’s making of knowledge about Turkey’s nuclear stories including Sıtkı Bey’s scientific knowledge and its communication in the public space (via a documentary); and, (3) Erol’s making and communication of knowledge about Candan’s making of knowledge about Turkey’s nuclear stories including Sıtkı Bey’s scientific knowledge and its communication in the public space (via an essay)... How can we play with such knowledge making and communication process to innovate STS methods and methodologies?
...I just imagine Sıtkı Bey, Candan and Erol working together against constructing nuclear power plants in Turkey…
Here is the news story about Sıtkı Bey that stands at the core of conversation between Candan and Erol:
It is a news story that came out in January 20, 1933 to give an exact date, with the title “The Great Reis [The Great Leader - Mustafa Kemal Atatürk] Listened to the Explanations of an Atomic Explorer”: [...] “Before he left the hospital, The Honorable President listened to the request of a person called Sıtkı Bey, who is a retired lieutenant colonel, at the doctor’s room. Sıtkı Bey says that he has discovered a new atomic model that will revolutionize physics and chemistry, and by virtue of its applications, the scientific field in the world. He even published an article that mentions his discovery in a reputable French scientific journal. He is trying to get his work published so he can compete in Nobel science awards.” And indeed, a series of news articles that start with this one in January 1933 went on till March 1933 and became discussed in public of the time (Can Candan)
This text reflects on the question How does this innovation regenerate STS? It focuses on a particular story in the Turkish history of science, which is told by a documentary maker and retold by an STS scholar.
Duygu Kaşdoğan, "STS meets artists meet scientists", contributed by Duygu Kasdogan, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 25 August 2019, accessed 22 May 2022. http://www.stsinfrastructures.org/content/sts-meets-artists-meet-scientists