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Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society

Richard Owen (Editor), John Bessant (Editor), Maggy Heintz (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-119-96636-4
306 pages
June 2013
Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society (1119966361) cover image

Science and innovation have the power to transform our lives and the world we live in - for better or worse – in ways that often transcend borders and generations: from the innovation of complex financial products that played such an important role in the recent financial crisis to current proposals to intentionally engineer our Earth’s climate. The promise of science and innovation brings with it ethical dilemmas and impacts which are often uncertain and unpredictable: it is often only once these have emerged that we feel able to control them. How do we undertake science and innovation responsibly under such conditions, towards not only socially acceptable, but socially desirable goals and in a way that is democratic, equitable and sustainable? Responsible innovation challenges us all to think about our responsibilities for the future, as scientists, innovators and citizens, and to act upon these.

This book begins with a description of the current landscape of innovation and in subsequent chapters offers perspectives on the emerging concept of responsible innovation and its historical foundations, including key elements of a responsible innovation approach and examples of practical implementation.  

Written in a constructive and accessible way, Responsible Innovation includes chapters on:

  • Innovation and its management in the 21st century
  • A vision and framework for responsible innovation
  • Concepts of future-oriented responsibility as an underpinning philosophy
  • Values – sensitive design
  • Key themes of anticipation, reflection, deliberation and responsiveness
  • Multi – level governance and regulation
  • Perspectives on responsible innovation in finance, ICT, geoengineering and nanotechnology

Essentially multidisciplinary in nature, this landmark text combines research from the fields of science and technology studies, philosophy, innovation governance, business studies and beyond to address the question, “How do we ensure the responsible emergence of science and innovation in society?”

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Foreword: Why Responsible Innovation? xi
Jack Stilgoe

Preface xvii

List of Contributors xxiii

1. Innovation in the Twenty-First Century 1
John Bessant

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 How Can We Innovate? – Innovation as a Process 3

1.3 Where Could We Innovate? – Innovation Strategy 4

1.4 Reframing Innovation 5

1.5 Reframing Challenges for Twenty-First Century Innovation 9

1.5.1 The Spaghetti Challenge 9

1.5.2 The Sappho Challenge – Bringing Stakeholders into the Frame 14

1.5.3 The Sustainability Challenge – Innovation for Sustainable Development 17

1.6 Emergent Properties of the New Innovation Environment 21

2. A Framework for Responsible Innovation 27
Richard Owen, Jack Stilgoe, Phil Macnaghten, Mike Gorman, Erik Fisher, and Dave Guston

2.1 Introduction 27

2.2 Context: the Imperative for Responsible Innovation 30

2.2.1 Re-evaluating the Social Contract for Science and Innovation 30

2.2.2 The Responsibility Gap 31

2.2.3 The Dilemma of Control 33

2.2.4 Products and Purposes: the Democratic Governance of Intent 34

2.3 Locating Responsible Innovation within Prospective Dimensions of Responsibility 35

2.4 Four Dimensions of Responsible Innovation 38

2.5 Responsible Innovation: from Principles to Practice 39

2.5.1 Some Experiments in Responsible Innovation 40

2.6 Toward the Future: Building Capacity for Responsible Innovation 44

3. A Vision of Responsible Research and Innovation 51
René von Schomberg

3.1 Introduction: Technical Inventions, Innovation, and Responsibility 52

3.2 Responsible Research and Innovation and the Quest for the Right Impacts of Research 54

3.3 Defining the Right Impacts and Outcomes of Research 56

3.4 From Normative Anchor Points Toward the Defining of “Grand Challenges” and the Direction of Innovation 58

3.5 Responsible Research and Innovation: Organizing Collective Responsibility 59

3.5.1 Some Examples of Irresponsible Innovation 60

3.6 A Framework for Responsible Research and Innovation 63

3.6.1 Use of Technology Assessment and Technology Foresight 65

3.6.2 Application of Precautionary Principle 67

3.6.3 Innovation Governance 67

3.7 Outlook 71

4. Value Sensitive Design and Responsible Innovation 75
Jeroen van den Hoven

4.1 Introduction 75

4.2 Innovation and Moral Overload 77

4.3 Values and Design 78

4.4 Responsible Innovation 80

5. Responsible Innovation – Opening Up Dialogue and Debate 85
Kathy Sykes and Phil Macnaghten

5.1 A Short History of Controversies about Science and Technology 85

5.2 The Evolution of Public Engagement 87

5.3 The Case of Genetically Modified Foods in the UK 90

5.4 Sciencewise and the Institutional Embedding of Public Engagement in the UK 92

5.5 Motivations for Public Dialogue 94

5.6 The Claims for Public Dialogue 97

5.7 How (and When) Can Debate and Dialogue Be Opened Up? 99

5.8 The Substance of Public Concerns and Their Implications for Governance 102

5.9 Concluding Remarks 104

6. “Daddy, Can I Have a Puddle Gator?”: Creativity, Anticipation, and Responsible Innovation 109
David H. Guston

6.1 Introduction 109

6.2 Understanding Anticipation 111

6.3 The Politics of Novelty 112

6.4 The Challenge of Speculative Ethics 114

6.5 Conclusion 116

7. What Is “Responsible” about Responsible Innovation? Understanding the Ethical Issues 119
Alexei Grinbaum and Christopher Groves

7.1 Introduction 119

7.2 The Changing Meaning of Responsibility 120

7.2.1 From the Divine Corporation to the Sovereign Individual 120

7.2.2 Knowledge, Uncertainty, and Human Finitude 123

7.2.3 Reciprocal and Non-Reciprocal Responsibility 126

7.3 Beyond the Sovereign Individual: Collective Responsibility, Desire, and Cultural Narratives 128

7.3.1 Passion Sits Alongside Reason 128

7.3.2 Non-Consequentialist Individual Responsibility 130

7.3.3 Collective Political Responsibility 132

7.3.4 The Virtues of Responsible Innovation 134

7.3.5 Narratives Take over Where Cost–Benefit Analysis Fails 135

7.4 Conclusion: Responsibility and Meaning 139

8. Adaptive Governance for Responsible Innovation 143
Robert G. Lee and JudithPetts

8.1 Introduction 143

8.2 Risk and Adaptive Governance 145

8.3 Responsibility and Accountability 147

8.4 The Rationale for Regulation 150

8.5 Risk Regulation and Accountability for Product Safety 151

8.6 The Adaptation of Risk Regulation 154

8.7 Adaptive Innovation Governance: Limits and Needs 158

8.8 Conclusion 160

9. Responsible Innovation: Multi-Level Dynamics and Soft Intervention Practices 165
Erik Fisher and Arie Rip

9.1 Introduction 165

9.2 Discourse and Activities at Different Levels of Governance 166

9.2.1 International and Bi-Lateral Meetings 167

9.2.2 Legislative Initiatives 168

9.2.3 Research Funding Agencies 169

9.2.4 Intermediary Organizations and Consortia 171

9.2.5 Concrete Activities 172

9.3 Two Cases of “Soft” Intervention 173

9.3.1 STIRing the Capacities of Science and Innovation Practitioners 173

9.3.2 Constructive Technology Assessment (CTA) of Newly Emerging Science and Technology 175

9.4 Concluding Observations on Governance 177

10. Responsible Innovation in Finance: Directions and Implications 185
Fabian Muniesa and Marc Lenglet

10.1 Introduction 185

10.2 Perspectives on Responsible Innovation in Finance 187

10.2.1 Perspective on Function 187

10.2.2 Perspective on Moral Rules 188

10.2.3 Perspective on Internalized Values 188

10.2.4 Perspective on Aggregate Consequences 189

10.2.5 Perspective on Accountability 189

10.2.6 Perspective on Precaution 190

10.2.7 Perspective on Democracy 191

10.3 Some Directions for Further Reflection 191

10.4 Conclusion 194

11. Responsible Research and Innovation in Information and Communication Technology: Identifying and Engaging with the Ethical Implications of ICTs 199
Bernd Carsten Stahl, Grace Eden, and Marina Jirotka

11.1 Introduction 199

11.2 Conceptualizing Responsibility and Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT 200

11.2.1 Responsibility as a Social Ascription 200

11.2.2 Responsible Research and Innovation as Meta-Responsibility 201

11.2.3 Responsible Research and Innovation: the Four “P”s 202

11.3 Building a Framework for RRI in ICT 203

11.3.1 Product: ICTs and Their Ethical Implications 203

11.3.2 People: Landscape of ICT Ethics 208

11.3.3 Process: Governance of RRI in ICT 212

11.4 Critical Reflections 214

11.4.1 The Meta-Responsibilities of RRI 214

11.4.2 Further Research 215

12. Deliberation and Responsible Innovation: a Geoengineering Case Study 219
Karen Parkhill, Nick Pidgeon, Adam Corner, and Naomi Vaughan

12.1 Introduction 219

12.2 Public Perceptions of Geoengineering 222

12.3 Exploring Public Perceptions of Geoengineering: an Empirical Study 223

12.3.1 Context 223

12.3.2 Method: Deliberating SPICE 224

12.3.3 Analysis 225

12.4 Public Perceptions of Geoengineering through the Lens of Responsible Innovation 226

12.4.1 Intentions 226

12.4.2 Responsibility 229

12.4.3 Impacts 231

12.4.4 The Role of the Public 232

12.5 Conclusion: Geoengineering – Responsible Innovation? 234

13. Visions, Hype, and Expectations: a Place for Responsibility 241
Elena Simakova and Christopher Coenen

13.1 Introduction 241

13.2 The Repertoires of Nano Futures 243

13.3 Narratives of Responsibility 253

13.3.1 Narrative 1: Nanofutures, Boundary Work and Technology Assessment Activities in the US and Germany 253

13.3.2 Narrative 2: Responsibility as Knowledge and Technology Transfer in the United States 256

13.4 Narratives, Visions and Conflicts: Lessons for RRI? 259

Endnotes: Building Capacity for Responsible Innovation 269
Jonny Hankins

Building Capacity for Responsible Innovation: Awareness and Engagement 271

Less Stick and More Carrot: Building Capacity through Education 272

Index 275

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Richard Owen
University of Exeter,  UK

John Bessant
University of Exeter,  UK

Maggy Heintz
French Embassy, London, UK

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