Arsev Umur Aydinoglu, Ph.D.
Design Factory
Middle East Technical University (METU)

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist currently working as the Coordinator for Education for METU Design Factory. My research focuses on interdisciplinary collaborative science but I am broadly interested in topics as diverse as virtual teams, research data management, astrobiology, origins of life, complex adaptive systems theory, evaluation, design thinking, science and technology studies, and science communication. I like exploratory work and enjoy bringing expertise from different domains together.

I am involved with Blue Marble Space Institute of Science and ELSI Origins Network -both networks do very cool stuff in astrobiology and origins of life research! I get to know these amazing people during my NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship while studying the NASA Astrobiology Institute's (NAI) collaborative practices. They accepted a social scientist (me) with open arms. At NASA, I assessed the current collaborative practices regarding (i) communication behaviors; (ii) data and information behaviors; (iii) collaborative work and interdisciplinary interaction; and (iv) institutional identity. My research (I hope) helped to improve communication, data sharing, collaborative analysis, and problem solving; to foster interdisciplinary science and collaborative work; and to strengthen institutional identity.  

After my postdoc at NASA, I returned to Turkey with a Tubitak-Marie Curie Cofund grant and spend two years as a Visiting Scholar at the Research Center for Science and Technology Policies. I conducted a multilevel assessment (behavioral, policy, and technological) of Turkish environmental scientists’ research data management practices (store, share, reuse) and developed a roadmap for Turkey.

As for my training, I received my Ph.D. from the College of Communication and Information, at the University of Tennessee in 2011 which prepared me to explore my diverse interests. In my dissertation, "Emergence of a multi-institutional and multidisciplinary scientific collaboration: DataONE Case Study", I investigated the emergence of DataONE (a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional, and multinational virtual data network on Earth Sciences) and the role of information and communication behaviors in it from a complexity theory perspective. My dissertation won the 2012 Outstanding Dissertation Award given by the College. Afterwards, I spend a semester as a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science. Also, I have master's degree in Public Relations from Gazi University and a bachelor's degree in Economics from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. 

Previously, I had worked at the World Bank Turkey Office as Public Information Assistant for 4.5 years where I was responsible for the World Bank Public Information Center, publications, and country website. I also worked in the coordination of youth and NGO projects that were funded by the Bank; however, that feels like another life.