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Turkey needs a new education, science strategy: Top Turkish scientist


Turkey needs to have a new and greater comprehensive approach for technological know-how, in line with Canan Dağdeviren, a pinnacle scientist who currently leads a research organization at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “Unfortunately, I experience just like the first-rate of education has been lowered dramatically … But if I may want to do it then they also can do it,” stated Dağdeviren, who mentors younger Turkish minds from the U.S. And who in 2015 became named inside the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” (inventor category) through MIT Technology Review and inside the “Top 30 Under 30 in Science” through Forbes.

Q: Who is Canan Dağdeviren, and what is she working on?

A: I believe humans resemble their hometowns. I am like Istanbul, the town that connects two continents through bridges. Like Istanbul, I bridge the distance among difficult, boxy electronics and gentle, time-dynamic elastic biology. Today’s electronics are up to six times stiffer than smooth tissue inside the human body. So whilst you want to combine electronics with the body, there are intense challenges.

Because we can not exchange biology, we provide you with new methods to make digital devices with the shape and mechanical homes matching human tissues. I create routinely adaptive electromechanical structures within sensors and trans-users, and those gadgets can be seamlessly carried out to any curvy part of your frame. These gadgets are smart interfaces between patients and medical doctors. They are mechanically invisible, and you don’t sense like you have got something for your skin; it acts as skin, even as trying to translate organic language into the digital language to understand what is going on in your frame.

Q: Can you provide a concrete instance of a tool you have been operating on?

A: We make devices, for example, that may be a part of one’s non-public garment, inclusive of your bra, undies, blouse, or trousers, so you can area these gadgets at the pinnacle of your frame and they could screen changes in stiffness. For instance, for melanoma and skin most cancers patients, we have a device that is the type of like a tattoo that you could follow to part of your body, and this device can create a colorful map of stiffness version. When you visit a medical doctor, the first behavior bodily palpation to your skin is a good way to discover the stiffer location; however, with the device, you don’t want a medical doctor or to rely on the sensitivity of a health practitioner’s fingers.


Q: Tell us, fine or bad, how your adventure in Turkey has been an aspect of your profession?

A: My tradition has helped me a lot. It may be very embracing; it means you are exactly at speak to human beings by using a cup of Turkish espresso or a chunk of Turkish pride. The colorings of my lifestyle help me too: For instance, the distinct shades in a Turkish carpet encourage me to create my gadgets exclusively. The important obstacle I even have had comes from convincing humans of my college for physics even though I am a girl, looking to persuade humans that I can do it. Unfortunately, in Turkey’s center, technological know-how, including chemistry, physics, and mathematics, are assumed to be non-perfect for women.

I could do anything I even have carried out in both the U.S. Or Turkey; we’ve got the same materials, tools, etc. But the principal lacking issue is the environment: In Turkey, I could handiest create my devices after around 10 years, compared to three hundred and sixty-five days within the U.S. Over there, they don’t question you and don’t query the nature of your research. The handiest question you get is: How are we able to help you? In Turkey, you continually should convince people about your studies and say you may do it. In Turkey, you need to gain acceptance as true with human beings, even as in the U.S. Humans generally tend to accept it as true with others using default.

Q: Do you watch this is associated with the truth that Turkey lags in the back of technology?

A: In Turkey, I think we don’t ask sufficient questions. There is no freedom to question; you can not choose your teacher. If you achieve this, you could fail to your elegance, and your friends may also distinctly observe you. But in technology, you need to ask questions. Without thinking, you can’t pursue technological know-how. And you can most effectively ask questions in a loose environment. If freedom is constrained, it way you are restricted.

Q: Who are the principal personalities which have stimulated you?

A: [The late theoretical physicist and politician] Erdal inönü and Pierre Curie are my biggest inspirations. My mum is my largest motivation; I am what I am nowadays due to her.

Q: What is the most meaningful of all awards you have obtained?

A: My election to the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, once I turned into selected as the first researcher from Turkey since 1933. It is an exceptional networking region. The award went past my private achievement, as it is a manner for me to represent my beautiful united states. In Turkey, I don’t most effectively speak approximately technology; I additionally communicate approximately lifestyle, the circle of relatives contributors to Istanbul, and my interactions with students.

Q: How do you percentage your stories with people in Turkey?

A: I use social media and online systems to engage with younger Turkish minds. Every Sunday, I sleep hours less, and I do Skype mentoring with Turkish primary college students, excessive school students, and parents. And I attempt to supply inspiring talks in cities throughout Anatolia. I had been to many cities such as Adana, Konya, and Erzurum. I need college students the decision about their thoughts. I need them to assume: “If she does it, we can also do it.” I changed into additionally educated in Turkey, and if I could do it, they can also do it. We have to share high-quality matters, now not the handiest poor ones.

Q: It has been greater than a decade, considering you have been directly involved with the schooling machine in Turkey. What are your observations approximately the training gadget through those interactions?

A: Unfortunately, I experience the excellent education has been decreased dramatically. As a scientist, I try and be the very goal. However, scholars are sad and dissatisfied. They don’t even understand what they may be studying. They can’t clear up questions significantly; they need to have selective answers. As soon as I requested my nephew a query, they asked me: “What are the options?” She couldn’t find a solution, except she had alternatives. This is improbable. We can’t build a future in this form of the educational machine; we ought to exchange.

Q: What is gender discrimination like inside the U.S., to your enjoyment?

A: Gender discrimination is everywhere. It is global trouble. It isn’t a great scenario everywhere, but things are becoming better. the event, an awesome organization like MIT, women scientists are paid 10 percentage much less than male scientists. In this century, during my negotiations for my task, I instructed them that if I am presented a dollar less than my male colleagues, I would now not take the location.

Q: Can Turkey leap ahead and capture up with the advanced world in science?

A: If there may be sufficient dedication, time, and hard work, then there’s always desire. We want an extra systematic way of pursuing technological know-how in our co

Geneva A. Crawford
Twitter nerd. Coffee junkie. Prone to fits of apathy. Professional beer geek. Spent several years buying and selling magma in Miami, FL. Spent a year lecturing about psoriasis in Las Vegas, NV. Managed a small team writing about circus clowns in Las Vegas, NV. Garnered an industry award while writing about lint in the financial sector. Spoke at an international conference about getting my feet wet with dust in Libya. Spoke at an international conference about researching rocking horses in Bethesda, MD.