Speaking at a U.N. panel, Canan Dağdeviren, the first scientist from Turkey to be named as a junior fellow by the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, has said her source of “endless motivation” is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
“Atatürk once said, ‘if one day my words are against science, choose science.’ He also said that ‘for everything in the world, for civilization, for life, for prosperity, our true mentor in life is science,’” Dağdeviren said on Feb. 9 at a panel titled “Women in Science and Diplomacy for Sustaining Peace and Development” at the United Nations in the New York, as a part of the “Equality and Parity in Science for Peace Development” program.
After receiving her undergraduate degree at Sabancı University in Istanbul in 2009, the 32-year-old Dağdeviren completed her PhD in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on a Fulbright scholarship.
Dağdeviren is currently an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Media Lab. Her innovations include a flexible sensor capable of measuring skin quality and a device that can replace cardiac pacemaker batteries.
In 2015, she was included on the “Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science” list.