Responsible Science

Everything related to Responsible Research and Innovation aka “RRI”, a cross-cutting issue of Horizon2020. Here we will answer how to align the outcomes of research with the values and needs of society.

March for Science: reaching out for bottom-up governance

We are living through very puzzling times. Times where the unexpected, the counter-intuitive and the irrational make headlines day after day. In this new world order, some remnants of old models of governance are re-emerging. These are entered on top-down governance, sometimes stretched to the point of generating strongly nationalist and authoritarian regimes. Yet, new governance models are needed. Scientists, with the March for Science due to take place on 22nd April 2017, give a strong signal, that bottom-up input into policy is needed. Unlike any time ever before, technology makes it easy for people in power to consult citizens on how their lives should be governed. Meanwhile, the input of the humanities and deeper philosophical questioning could help us inform future policy decisions. The trouble is that the mechanisms for such bottom-up governance have not yet been fully elucidated. To contribute to discussions on this issue, it is now time for EuroScientist and HSE community members to step in. Read more [...]
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Policy making manifesto: squaring science with the human factor

EuroScientist publishes in exclusivity the Brussels Declaration on ethics & principles for science & society policy-making, launched on 17th February 2017 at the AAAS meeting. This document outlines a set of 20 principles related to the ethics and the mechanisms through which scientific evidence is taken into account as part of the policy making process for issues relevant to science and society. This declaration proposes a dramatic shift in the way scientific evidence informs policy. It suggests integrating the views of practitioners in relevant fields, thus instilling a bottom-up approach to the policy making process. This is in sharp contrast with the existing top down policy making principles. Find out more in this op-ed written exclusively for EuroScientist by some of the authors of the Brussels Declaration. Read more [...]
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Science won’t be responsible until citizens get more involved

As the RRI Tools project comes to an end, it has gathered a collection of concrete solutions to engage citizens more closely with the research process. There is still a lot of work to be done to better associate citizens with the scientific process. As part of this special issue on RRI, we have asked experts in the field to take a step back and reflect on the next evolution of the RRI field. This makes for facinating reading. Read more [...]
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Responsibility means answering to and for science

Being able to answer to and for science is one of the most challenging aspects of modern research. Indeed,it is short-sighted to limit science to its application without examining its implications. That's because there are many facets in the knowledge stemming from various disciplines related to any given topic of study. In this opinion piece, Léo Coutellec, researcher in philosophy of sciences, at the Paris-Sud University, France, suggests scrutinising the many implications of research, even before any applications are investigated. Read more [...]
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The many lives of Responsible Research and Innovation

From a distance, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) displays all of the features of a passing fashion. Yet, there is substance to it. In particular, this approach offers an opportunity to redefine divisions of moral labour in our societies. In this stimulating opinion piece, Arie Rip, professor of philosophy of science and technology at the University of Twente, The Netherlands, shares his perspective as a sociologist on the recent trend to reflect on research goals and include more actors in the research and innovation processes. Read more [...]
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Developing Indicators for RRI: challenges and limitations

RRI has become a field in its own right in the past few years. One of the biggest challenges has been in developing indicators that are suitable to evaluate the alignment of research projects with RRI principles. In this opinion piece, Ralf Lindner, is explaining the work of the MoRRI research team in developing first-generation indicators for RRI. Read more [...]
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Associating citizens with the scientific process from the start

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become a new buzzword at the core of European science policy discourses. The issue is to devise ways for research to more adequately address the contemporary challenges of our society. In this opinion piece, Ulrike Felt, professor of science and technology studies from the University of Vienna, Austria, argues that before RRI can become a reality, before we will succeed opening-up research to societal actors and values, we will need to reconsider our arrangements at the core of academia. Read more [...]
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RRI as a wake-up call

Until now, our diagnostics of the role of research and innovation in society has been too simplistic. In this opinion piece, Elisabeth Gulbrandsen, special adviser in the division for innovation of the Research Council of Norway, shares her view on how RRI can be embedded in the fabric of research programmes. She argues that RRI is a wake-up call pointing to the need to examine the nature of the research and innovation itself before we can implement a change in the culture of research, moving beyond our comfort zone. Read more [...]
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Involving researchers in teachers’ training

A pragmatic solution to associate citizens more closely with research is to develop training programmes associating researchers with teachers. This is exactly what the Maison pour la Science en Alsace initiative has done in France. In this opinion piece, its director Mélodie Faury explains the benefits of such an approach in getting teachers first-hand experience of what research really is about. Read more [...]
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Endangered Waters: saving Europe’s most iconic fish species

A network of young scientists demonstrated that they have a unique role to play in helping to protect endangered fish species. Specifically, they are involved in developing better production strategies for salmon, eels and sturgeons, under the umbrella of a European project called IMPRESS. To develop conservation solutions through innovative research, they seek to pair their research objectives with understanding the needs of fishing communities and conservation policy makers. This example shows the potential for evidence-based policies can make a difference to wild fish species. Read more [...]
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RRI: New buzzword or vision of modern science policy?

Science has the power to transform societies. It has the power to help tackle the challenges Europe is facing. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) aims to reconcile the need for research to operate autonomously against a backdrop of society transformed by scientific discoveries and technical inventions. Thanks to RRI, we are getting one step closer to finding practical solutions to facilitate the dialogue between scientists and all those concerned, including citizens. Read more [...]
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RRI training by showcases

RRI has an air of deja vu, as the concepts behind RRI could transform the way that the research and innovation processes work, and bring their results much closer to what our fellow citizens really want and need. European funded project RRI Tools is rolling out a series of training workshops across Europe. In this opinion piece, Steve Miller, professor of science communication at University College London, UK, shares the lessons learned from previously tested approaches implemented by the UK EPSRC research council.Read more [...]
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