Science, religion, and the nation: de-scienticizing Nobel Prize scientist Aziz Sancar

Gezgin E., Canbolat A. A.

SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES, vol.22, no.3, pp.403-418, 2022 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683857.2022.2067097
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.403-418
  • Keywords: Scientific persona, Aziz Sancar, performance, science, de-scienticization, nationalism, Turkey, POLICIES, PERSONAE
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


This article examines the emergence of Nobel Prize-winning Turkish scientist Aziz Sancar as a scientific persona model. After receiving the Nobel Prize in 2015, Sancar's nationalistic tendencies and close relationship with incumbent Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi - AKP) leaders opened up a wide range of discussions on how a scientist's relationship with politics should be intellectually interpreted. Focusing on the case of Aziz Sancar, this article examines the specific contextual conditions in which a scientist expresses his identity and how it is interpreted by the public. To this end, the aim of this work is to present an in-depth analysis of the discussions that took place in Eksi Sozluk, a popular social media platform acting as an online forum in Turkey, and news from the national media and to scrutinize how a scientific persona is conceived in Turkey and how Aziz Sancar has been 'de-scienticized' in the heavy polarized Turkish political atmosphere.