“STS Meets Ethics” Conference 2023: Reflecting on Three Remarkable Days of Exploration

Today marks the end of three extraordinary and enlightening days at the “STS Meets Ethics” conference.

In a world marked by climate change, environmental challenges, and the rapid advancement of technology, it has become essential to address these multifaceted issues through an interdisciplinary lens. The “STS Meets Ethics” conference, jointly organized by METU Applied Ethics Research Center (UEAM), Science and Technology Policy Research Center (TEKPOL), Department of Philosophy, and Turkish Scholarly Network for Science and Technology Studies (STS TÜRKİYE), in collaboration with Bilkent University Faculty of Engineering, aimed to do just that.

In the last three days, we delved deep into the social, legal and philosophical implications of our ever-advancing world, exploring a wide array of topics at the intersection of science, technology, and society.

The event brought together experts from various fields, fostering dialogue on the interconnectedness of science, technology, society, and ethics. Keynote speakers, Prof. Dr. Joan Fujimura and Prof. Dr. Aristotle Tympas, provided valuable insights into the ethical dimensions of emerging technologies and the role of STS in shaping our understanding of them.

The conference explored a range of vital topics, including:

Environment, Technology, and Ethics

Digital Technologies and Society

Internet security, social media, and big data

Ethical concerns surrounding artificial intelligence

Human rights in the digital age

Information technologies and e-Government

Human-Machine Interaction

Medicine, Technology, and Society

Exploring transhumanism and posthumanism

Disability Studies

Responsible Research and Innovation

Culture and Identity under the Influence of Technology

Ethics, Aesthetics, Technology

Philosophy and History of Technology

Notably, the conference featured four workshops that garnered significant interest:

  1. VIRT2UE Research Ethics Training Module – Virtues and Norms Exercise (Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Volkan Kavas, İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi): This workshop explored research ethics through the lens of virtues and norms, sparking meaningful conversations on ethical conduct in research.
  2. Introduction to Atlas.ti Usage: Essential Skills in Qualitative Research (Dr. Melike Şahinol, Independent Researcher): Participants had the opportunity to delve into the use of Atlas.ti, a qualitative research tool, gaining crucial insights into essential skills for qualitative research.
  3. Case Analysis in Ethics Education (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Barış Parkan, METU): This workshop focused on ethics education, emphasizing the importance of case analysis in ethical decision-making.
  4. National Artificial Intelligence Strategy and AI Ethics (Dr. Zümrüt Müftüoğlu, Dijital Dönüşüm Koordinasyon Daire Başkanlığı / Head of Digital Transformation Coordination Department).

These workshops provided valuable hands-on experiences and enriched our understanding of ethics, research, and technology in society.

The “STS Meets Ethics” conference was a remarkable platform for interdisciplinary discussions, allowing participants to gain a deeper understanding of the ethical, social, and philosophical implications of advancements in science and technology.

As one of the coordinators of STS Türkiye, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, the keynote speakers, and the dedicated organizers for making this conference a tremendous success. It has been an exceptional experience, and we eagerly anticipate future collaborations and further explorations at the intersection of science, technology, and society.