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Responsible Research and Innovation: The Problematic Quest for "Right" Impacts (Kongresua)

Noiz eta non

Noiztik: 2016/03/10 Noiz arte: 2016/03/11


Donostia / San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa)



International Conference

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI): The Problematic Quest for "Right" Impacts.


(The information below, including the Conference Program is also available to download as a pdf file at the bottom of this page)


Date:   March 10 and 11, 2016

Venue:   Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Donostia-San Sebastián.

Organizers:   Miguel Sánchez-Mazas Chair at University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.
                             Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU).



The European Commission claims that research and engineering activities under the next R&D Framework Programme, "Horizon 2020" (2014-2020), will be conducted according to a "Responsible Research and Innovation" (RRI) framework, meaning that "societal actors work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes, with the values, needs and expectations of European society" (EC, 2012, p. ii). RRI can be understood thus as an effort to justify innovation not on grounds of uncritical, or taken for granted macro-economic assumptions, but on the basis of societally-beneficial objectives, or challenges, as openly defined and debated by a plurality of societal actors. As such, RRI-based EU policy aims to introduce "broader foresight and impact assessments for new technologies, beyond their anticipated market-benefits and risks" (von Schomberg 2013, p. 51).

Explicitly characterized as a "challenge-based approach", Horizon 2020 claims therefore to be prepared and oriented to address"major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere", including human and environmental health, sustainability, energy efficiency, climate action, inclusiveness, security, and freedom. However, are these generic challenges self-evident? How are they constituted and by whom? Can those challenges be challenged? How are they operationalized? On what normative bases? These and other similar questions express a legitimate concern for the main dynamics, assumptions and priorities by which normative frameworks are constituted and institutionalized in RRI-based EU research policy. This conference aims to interrogate the heterogeneous and contingent socio-technical processes that guide, enable and also constrain RRI's quest for "right" impacts.


  • EC, European Commission. 2012. Responsible Research and Innovation – Europe's ability to respond to societal challenges.
  • von Schomberg, R. 2013. "A Vision of Responsible Research and Innovation", in R. Owen, J. Bessant and M. Heintz, Eds., Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society, Chichester, UK: Wiley, pp. 51-74.



March 10 (Thursday)


9:00-9:30 Welcome and Introduction





René von Schomberg (European Commission)

The New RRI Agenda: Looking for "Right" Impacts


10:30-10:50 Coffee Break


The New Science of RRI



Erik Fisher (Arizona State University)

Integrating RRI into the Lab: "Midstream Modulation"



Marian Deblonde (Flemish Institute for Technological Research)

RRI: Science for Sustainability

12:30-14:20 Lunch break


Communications – Commentator: Silvio Funtowicz (University of Bergen)



Clare Shelley-Egan (Oslo and Akershus University)

Another Grand Challenge for RRI: Confronting and Renegotiating Divisions of Moral Labour




Phil Macnaghten (Wageningen University)

Responsible Innovation, Public Responses and Narrative Underpinnings: Or How to Use RRI to Improve the Conversation Between Today and Tomorrow



Sujatha Raman (University of Nottingham)

Responsive Novelty: Taking Innovation Seriously in RRI Conversations

15:50-16:10 Coffee Break


Identifying Domains for RRI Assessment



Jack Spaapen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)

RRI Indicators: Promotion and Monitoring



Andoni Eizagirre (University of Mondragon), Andoni Ibarra (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU) and Hannot Rodríguez (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU)

RRI in the Making: Assessing Technological Innovation through Tensions


March 11 (Friday)

The Ethics and Politics of RRI



Sophie Pelle (University of Paris 1) 

From Ethical Review to Responsible Research and Innovation



Ellen-Marie Forsberg (Oslo and Akershus University College)

The Distribution of Responsibilities in the Research and Innovation Systems

10:40-11:00 Coffee Break


RRI Imaginations



Arie Rip (University of Twente)

A Reflexive Critical Look at Aims and Claims of RRI



Brian Wynne (Lancaster University)

Promises of RRI: Who Will Benefit and Why?

12:40-14:10 Lunch break


Communications – Commentator: Silvio Funtowicz (University of Bergen)



Stevienna de Saille (University of Sheffield) and Fabien Medvecky (University of Otago)

Contextual Challenges to RRI as a Framework for Guiding Socio-Technical Progress




Andrea Saltelli (University of Bergen, and Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Mario Giampietro (Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies): 

Responsible Quantification, or the Licence Not to Quantify




David Guston (Arizona State University):

RRI as Anticipatory Governance

16:00 Foreword

16:10-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 Starting of the VIRI (Virtual Institute of Responsible Innovation) Second Annual Meeting (by invitation only) [March 11 and 12]

20:00 Conference Dinner



Scientific Committee
  • Ellen-Marie Forsberg (Oslo and Akershus University College)
  • Armin Grunwald (Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
  • Andoni Ibarra (UPV/EHU)
  • Carl Mitcham (Colorado School of Mines)
  • Daniel Sarewitz (CSPO – Arizona State University)
  • Roger Strand (University of Bergen)


Organizing Committee
  • Patricio Carezzana (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
  • Andoni Eizagirre (Mondragon University)
  • Erik Fisher (CSPO – Arizona State University)
  • Javier García Fronti (Universidad de Buenos Aires)
  • Margoth González (UPV/EHU)
  • Andoni Ibarra (UPV/EHU)
  • Hannot Rodríguez (UPV/EHU)
  • Iñaki San Pedro (UPV/EHU)



There is no registration fee to participate in the conference but registration is required. To register, please send your name/surname, contact details and affiliation by email to CRRI2016@gmail.com no later than March 8th, 2016.

For further details or queries please contact the conference organisers Andoni Eizagirre (aeizagirre@mondragon.edu) or Hannot Rodríguez (hannot.rodriguez@ehu.eus).

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