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.

A gender scholar’s visit to ESOF 2018: she came, she saw, she ranted

In this theory-informed auto-ethnographic account, I relate my experience of participating in the EuroScience Open Forum Conference 2018 (ESOF). Gender equality was certainly on the agenda at ESOF, however, I argue that the manner in which gender equality was addressed at the conference is not only problematic but potentially counter-productive to the intended purpose of promoting women in research careers. If we keep 1) essentialising a presumed lack of confidence to women, 2) omitting men’s role in the reproduction of gender hierarchies in research from equality discussions, and 3) excluding gender scholars’ expertise from gender equality debates, I fear that women’s equal participation in academic research and leadership will remain a distant prospect in the future still. Read more [...]

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. Read more [...]

Can public opinion shape the future of genome editing research?

Newer genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas, are revolutionising scientific research and bringing about a myriad of potential applications in many fields. For science and technology to progress timely and efficiently, the societal debate must move forward at the same pace to help guide the direction of scientific research and to frame policy-making decisions. As this technology progresses, what will be the key questions to address as the public is engaged in these conversations? This article hints at some of them while a comprehensive list will be discussed at ESOF dilemma café session on Friday 13th –participate to find out! Read more [...]

How to involve patients in health research?

Patients are the end users of health research; however, they are still rarely implicated in health research. In the 80’s HIV patients have revolted against this position and have invited themselves to scientific conferences and they have contributed to a major change in patient involvement in HIV research. How have other fields of biomedical research, like rare disease research or cancer research, been inspired by this unique experience? Read more [...]

First impressions of Horizon Europe

The burden of living up to this challenge rests mainly on the shoulders of the leaders of Europe and the European Commission. A sound design and implementation of the next framework program for research and innovation funding will be key to ascertain that Europe stays a serious competitor in the global research and innovation game. Horizon Europe has been announced last week. The new Framework Programme was framed as the „most ambitious Research and Innovation program yet”. First impressions confirm this statement with strong caveats. Read more [...]

Webinar: “Responsible Research and Innovation: a check-up”

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become a buzzword in European science in the last few years. Scientists must fill in the RRI section in their European project and sometimes they don't know what to write there. Others are anxious to have the RRI tag attached to their communication and PR activities. But what RRI really is? Why is it needed? How could science and society benefit from this approach? The strict definition of RRI implies a radical change in the way of conceiving scientific projects from the very beginning, bringing a wide range of stakeholders (from companies to activists, from designers to patients...) in defining the scientific agenda. Are researchers prepared for that? What is the actual level of implementation of RRI in European science? What policies are there in place to facilitate this process? Read more [...]

Combating fake news in science

“Dandelion root benefits can boost your immune system and cure cancer,” “Lead developer of HPV vaccines comes clean, warns parents & young girls it’s all a giant deadly scam,” "Asteroid Warning: Govt Preps Underground Bases" — These are just three of a multitude of fake science headlines circulating on social media recently. They may all be debunked, but will they have a lasting effect on society? The impacts of fake news and the post-truth era are the subject of discussions at the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ2017) on 26–30 June in Copenhagen, Denmark. Read more [...]

The Internet of Toys: The digital lives of young children

Communication technology is a daily reality for many young children in the form of internet-connected toys and devices: the Internet of Toys. Although these offer real benefits for children, they also present hidden risks, notably relating to privacy. To better understand the challenges presented by toys and devices for children aged 0–8 years, the European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST) programme initiated an Action to develop an interdisciplinary network for researchers to share information and knowledge: The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children (DigiLitEY). Outcomes of this COST ACTION are presented at the 4th European Conference for Science Journalists (ECSJ). Read more [...]