Tag Archives: science and society

Homo scientificus europaeus: Giving European scientists back their voice

Political populism, with its accompanying "fake news" and pseudoscience, leaves scientists distraught. But maybe scientific research itself needs a reboot. Research can no longer win public funding on the mere promise of a possible contribution to society. 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 [...]

The Scientists Dating Forum celebrated an event linking science and society in a relaxed environment for the first time

‘How democratic should science be?’ was the question that opened the first Scientists Dating Forum public event. In the evening of the 26th October, around 30 people meet in Flatherty’s Irish Pub (Barcelona) to discuss the participation of society in science while having a beer. Read more [...]

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RRI Tools – where we are and what we are after

Today’s societies face several challenges, ranging from healthy aging to climate change and security, for which there are no straightforward solutions. These challenges are reflected in the European Commission’s seven Grand Challenges, which constitute the focus of European research policy. Throughout the research and innovation (R&I) landscape, people are working to meet these challenges. Read more [...]