Uncertainty is ubiquitous, and an inherent feature of scientific research. Scientists are therefore used to dealing with uncertainty. Those making decisions in society are much less comfortable with uncertainty since they need to be accountable to a public, who is often averse to the unknown. Things become even more complex when uncertain is associated with risks faced by society. This leads to question how modern societies can come to reasonable decisions, norms, regulations and measures to deal with ambiguity, uncertainty and risk.
Over the past two decades, concerns about the relation between science and society at European and Member State levels have gone through a number of shifts. Previously, science enjoyed a large degree of freedom to pursue curiosity-driven inquiries without facing the scrutiny of democratic accountability. Then, a new social contract pushed the idea that scientific production should be demonstrating that it is beneficial for the public good.
On the 23rd April 2020 – on the day of a critical meeting of the European Council – President Giscard d’Estaing together with leading representatives from the World of politics, academia and civil society from the Board of Re-Imagine Europa call European leaders to show courage and ambition.
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.
In Germany, solutions to provide independent, participatory research support in response to civic concerns appeared on the agenda already 30 years ago. But it is merely as recently as five years ago that research engagement with civil society became prominent for a larger group of actors. One of the solutions to better interact with citizens has been provided through Science Shops
Science increasingly deals with challenges that concern society at large such as climate change, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, demographic change or resource scarcity. But civil society participation in science, let along in science policy, has so far mainly been limited. Now, there is a will to increase citizen participation, in countries like Germany and others…
Scholars at Risk’s latest Free to Think 2019 report describes the contours of a global phenomenon of attacks on higher education that impacts scientists everywhere. These attacks hamper scientific progress across the globe and challenge everyone’s right to think and share ideas. Given the gravity of this phenomenon, the report sets out tangible actions stakeholders including students, universities, faculty, and scientific associations can take to respond.
A tremendous variety of social networking sites have popped up in recent years and most gradually become irrelevant by failing to adjust to sophisticated user needs and expectations, essentially failing to recognize that our social needs vary over place or time.
Social developments triggered by digitalisation, big data or artificial intelligence, curing diseases by modifying the genome of organisms and developing high-tech solutions to slow down climate change – these are just a few topics of enormous societal Read more […]
Big data, AI, social media, the Internet of things and cybersecurity are transforming our work environments as well as our life as citizens and consumers but more than 56% of Europeans is still lacking the basic skills and competences to navigate effectively Read more […]
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” said Benjamin Franklin, to whom we owe the invention of the lightning rod and bifocals, among other things. More than two centuries later, the American mathematician’s observation could not Read more […]
Are a Steve Jobs like digital guru or a Mr Bean of the digital world? Play iNerd to find out! iNerd makes you explore your knowledge of four key areas of the digital world: big data and artificial intelligence, social media and Internet of Things. Read more […]