How ’Crowdsourcing’ involves experts and patients to define research missions: Broken Bone, anyone?

What if patients and clinical experts could spark and define the direction of multidisciplinary science projects without knowing the scientific literature? The Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) — a Austrian research organisation located in Vienna — is currently experimenting with Open Innovation in Science to systematically steer missions for their future research groups. Open Innovation in Science has been a vital part of innovative R&D units in large companies, however the science side of things are just starting to develop. LBG is currently at the forefront of this development.

Quality check on the newer UK universities

The UK University league tables do not use scientific contribution as a core value of university competition at national level. To assess the relative performance of the newer UK universities created after 1992, following a government reform graduating technical colleagues to the status of universities, can be done by looking at their scientific output. In this article, Solomon Habtemariam, principal lecturer and leader of Pharmacognosy Research laboratories at the University of Greenwich, UK, assesses the scientific publication output, 25 years after the creation of these newer universities. This makes for a sobering reading to any other European countries who have brought newer universities on stream.

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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.

Research can be more responsible with the right partner

The drivers leading to responsible research and innovation are poorly understood. Now, empirical work done in the EU project “Governance of Responsible Innovation” (GREAT) has investigated the factors influencing the uptake of responsible research aspects in EU-funded research and innovation using an agent-based simulation approach to analyse the impact of responsibility measures. Results reveal, for example, that the involvement of civil society organisations does not necessarily tilt the balance towards greater responsibility in research as initially thought. Instead, what appears to be of vital importance is the capability of any research partner to perform research responsibly.