TEKPOL: Infrastructures


Why METU? 

The reasons behind the selection of the Middle East Technical University as a home to Turkey's first research center for science and technology policies were stated in a number of documents prepared during the center's establishment process. Here are the English translations of selected quotes from these archival documents:

  • It would be hard to establish a research-education center that necessitates multi-disciplinary academic environment in a public institution such TÜBİTAK [The Scientific and Technological Research Council in Turkey] though it is an independent organization in legal terms. A university, preferably the one that undertakes research and educational activities in English, is a natural place for such a center. Middle East Technical University was agreed on by taking into account METU’s relations with, and closeness to TÜBİTAK as well as previous collaboration examples (e.g., Operational Research Unit and Ankara Electronic Research and Development Institute) - In a report by Ergun Türkcan 

  • When the research and education centers for science policy in the West are examined, it is seen that these centers mostly work under a university, especially one that focuses more on natural science-technic, without being linked to any traditional department… The ideal place for such a center in Turkey is METU. - In an unsigned letter

  • The establishment of such a center at METU is profoundly appropriate, given that the university environment is relatively independent and not open to direct interventions, and the university has an adequate background required for the success of this initiative - In a letter by Hasan Ünal Nalbantoğlu

Although these above notes taken before 1997 legitimize why METU was considered as an ideal place for a research center for science and technology policies, it also seems that the center aimed at creating an identity and acting beyond the boundaries of an academic institution. In the minutes of first board of directors meetings, it reads: “It is important for the center to be recognized by its own identity different than METU.” Whether or not TEKPOL has gained such an identity independent of METU in the years following its establishment, is another question going beyond the scope of this text.  



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Contributed date

August 11, 2018 - 5:36am

Critical Commentary

This text provides an answer to the question "What scholarly infrastructure has supported this STS formation?" so as to highlight the selection of the Middle East Technical University as a location for the establishment of TEKPOL.





Cite as

Duygu Kaşdoğan, "TEKPOL: Infrastructures", contributed by Duygu Kasdogan, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 13 August 2018, accessed 9 December 2022. http://www.stsinfrastructures.org/content/tekpol-infrastructures