Panel 4. Research Responsible Innovation

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Wednesday 2nd of September, 13.45 – 15.15, room 355

Chair: Emanuela Reale, CNR-IRCRES, Rome.

  • Richard Woolley, INGENIO, Valencia.
  • Carter Bloch, Aarhus University.
  • Philippe Laredo IFRIS, Univeristy of Paris Est.
  • Ingeborg Meiyer, CWTS, Leiden University.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) gained a momentum in Science Technology and Society (STS) studies from 2011, when a Workshop promoted by the DG Research to building the notion of Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe (EC 2011), ended up with: a) the concept of science for society, targeted to Europe’s societal challenges and to the production of a ‘right impact’; b) the concept of science with society, thus on responsiveness of research and innovation to society in the face of the uncertain effects that can be produced; and finally c) the need to make the motivations and the intentions for actions in research and innovation (R&I) more democratic.

RRI is now an emerging challenge at national and European level for the governance of science, whose realization is likely to affect also research institutions and organizations. The Rome Declaration approved during the SiS--‐RRI Stocktaking Conference held in Rome on November 2014 (http://www.sis--‐rri--‐conference.eu) is a further step in the construction of the RRI concept and culture, since it addresses directly governments, research funding organizations and research performing institution to actions toward RRI. The Declaration calls on European Institutions, Member States, Regional Authorities and research and innovation Funding Organisations to build capacity for RRI, and to review and adapt metrics and narratives for research and innovation; it also calls on public and private research and innovation performing organisations to implement institutional change fostering RRI in the strategies and activities, internal organization, planning and decision--‐making, recruitment and career criteria.

The round table wants to debate how far the institutionalization of RRI is likely to impact the research organizations, Universities first and foremost, and their evaluation with new questions, which require new criteria and indicators. In this respect approaches and metrics are discussed. The session starts from the assumption, to be discussed, that universities cannot achieve results toward responsible research and innovation just introducing a standardized set of practices, whose accomplishment is likely to become a new bureaucratic fulfilment among others. On the contrary, RRI needs a process of reflexivity that universities and research communities should adopt as normal component of their research practice, about the ultimate goal of their efforts and the role they have to play in society. Therefor, the internal governance and the decision--‐making inside universities shall evolve toward including the new dimension of responsibility; in this respect, evaluation can have a strong role, supporting the debate, providing evidences about results achieved and open challenges, feeding up learning processes and rethinking about research aims and directions.