CfP PACITA 2014 The future of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

Session PACITA 2014 Conference in Berlin Parliaments and Civil Society in Technology Assessment (PACITA)


The future of Responsible Research and Innovation: Drivers, Barriers, Contradictions, Timelines, Crossroads, and Scenarios

Petra Schaper-Rinkel, Susanne Giesecke, Peter Biegelbauer

As science and technology become more central to economic development, the question of future-oriented governance of science and technology gets raised repeatedly. A decade ago, the question addressed how to maximize the contribution of science and technology to economic innovation with the intention of enhancing competitiveness. Today, the question also includes how to use research and innovation to tackle grand societal challenges and to contribute to environmental sustainability.  The concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a central discourse to address these new questions and demands. Technology Assessment, Foresight/ Forward Looking Activities (FLA) are established interdisciplinary approaches to support society and policy making by analysing, debating and shaping technoscientific issues related to the challenges and by assessing available options for governing them. Today’s concepts of RRI are based on these approaches but aim at implementing RRI in a much broader context. TA and Foresight experts and scholars are examining research fields and emerging technologies that are crucial for the future of RRI. Starting from these studies we will analyse drivers, barriers, contradictions, timelines, crossroads, and scenarios related to RRI.

This session on the future of RRI will reflect the international state of debate and research on RRI with the focus on analysing drivers and barriers towards RRI and to analyse contradictions, timelines, crossroads, and scenarios related to future developments of RRI.

The expectations on the contribution of RRI differ between research fields such as nanotechnology or environmental sciences as well as between natural sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and humanities. We invite contributions focusing on case studies and policy related projects as well as conceptual approaches and methodological questions towards the future of RRI.

The 2  hour session will be organized in two parts: 0,5 h presentations (4 papers a 15min) and discussion, followed by a session of 1,5 h for a world cafe

The session invites papers that deal with one or more of the following issues

  • Are there different futures of RRI from various perspectives? What are the differences?
  • What are the drivers and barriers of developing and implementing RRI?
  • What are the contradictions that are crucial for the further development of the concept as well as the for the implementation of RRI?
  • Examining the timelines, crossroads, and scenarios of future RRI

In this second part of the session, we invite scholars also to think of RRI in more comprehensive ways: in terms of processes and politics which need to be opened up to allow ‘responsible research and innovation’ to extend beyond a programmatic buzz word. The format of the second part will be a world café on the future of RRI.

Deadline for abstracts: 1. October 2014