Is Responsible Research Good Science?


GenØk scientists Lilian van Hove and Fern Wickson have a new publication in Nanoethics!

Responsible Research Is Not Good Science:
Divergences Inhibiting the Enactment of RRI in Nanosafety

This paper identifies a range of practical barriers and cultural differences creating a divergence between how scientists and policymakers are defining good science. It argues that these divergences are currently inhibiting the enactment of responsible research and innovation by individual scientists working within laboratories.

The desire to guide research and innovation in more ‘responsible’ directions is increasingly emphasized in national and international policies, the funding of inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations and academic scholarship on science policy and technology governance. Much of this growth has occurred simultaneously with the development of nanoscale sciences and technologies, where emphasis on the need for responsible research and innovation (RRI) has been particularly widespread.

This paper describes an empirical study exploring the potential for RRI within nanosafety research in Norway and Denmark. It identifies three different ways nanosafety scientists relate to core RRI criteria, demonstrating areas of both convergence and divergence between their views and those of academics and policymakers currently defining and working to promote RRI.

The paper concludes that the identified differences and challenges demand critical reflection on both the appropriateness and applicability of RRI characteristics for enactment at the level of individual research scientists. Significant changes are therefore advocated as required if RRI, as currently imagined and promoted, is to become an integral mode of scientific culture.

Use this link if you want to read the entire article.

van Hove, L. and Wickson, F. (2017). “Responsible Research Is Not Good Science: Divergences Inhibiting the Enactment of RRI in Nanosafety“, Nanoethics published online 21 September 2017. DOI 10.1007/s11569-017-0306-5

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