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An open letter in Science to plea for sustained support in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)

September 5th, 2018

Dr. Ingeborg Meijer, together with partners from the MoRRI consortium published an open letter in Science on August 24, 2018. MoRRI, which stands for Monitoring the Evolution and Benefits of Responsible Research and Innovation has shown that the European Commission funding of RRI does raise more awareness and institutionalization of the six RRI keys: public engagement, science education, gender equality, open access, ethics and governance. Sustained support in responsible research and innovation (RRI) and more Science with and for society (SwafS) research in Horizon Europe are thus called for. The European Commission has always been leading in developing policies that support the science-society axis, and should continue to do so.

Please find the link to Science here.

A longer version of the letter was published on 3 September 2018 in the Journal of Science Communication. In this version the same authors show recent research focused on tracking the evolution and benefits of RRI producing concrete evidence that the considerable effort made to cultivate RRI by EC funding is having important effects:

First, participating in FP research projects promotes a greater familiarity with RRI principles within the European research community. Researchers who have participated in FP research projects are more likely to employ responsible practices in their own work, and they are more likely to identify democratic, social, or economic benefits for stakeholders beyond the R&I system. Importantly, compared to a control group of non-EU funded researchers, they are also more likely to observe that their science improves by being responsible, or to have strong expectations that such benefits will emerge in the future.

Second, the available evidence on the process of RRI mainstreaming in academic organisations suggests that there is a positive trend of growth and development in all RRI key areas. The transformative potential of RRI is starting to materialise in the shape of new governance arrangements in academic organisations. Overall, the institutional commitment to cultivating responsible practices showed a positive trend as well.

Please download the pdf here.

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