Schroeder, Doris and Ladikas, Miltos (2015) Towards Principled Responsible Research and Innovation: Employing the Difference Principle in Funding Decisions. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 2 (2). pp. 169-183. ISSN 2329-9460
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/232994...
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has emerged as a science policy framework that attempts to import broad social values into technological innovation processes whilst supporting institutional decision-making under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity. When looking at RRI from a ‘principled’ perspective, we consider responsibility and justice to be important cornerstones of the framework. The main aim of this article is to suggest a method of realising these principles through the application of a limited Rawlsian Difference Principle in the distribution of public funds for research and innovation.
There are reasons why the world's combined innovative capacity has spewed forth iPhones and space shuttles but not yet managed to produce clean energy or universal access to clean water. (Stilgoe 2013, xii)
I derive great optimism from empathy's evolutionary antiquity. It makes it a robust trait that will develop in virtually every human being so that society can count on it and try to foster and grow it. It is a human universal.
(de Waal 2009, 209)
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has emerged as a science policy framework that attempts to import broad social values into technological innovation processes whilst supporting institutional decision-making under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity. In this respect, RRI re-focuses technological governance from standard debates on risks to discussions about the ethical stewardship of innovation.
This is a radical step in Science & Technology (S&T) policy as it lifts the non-quantifiable concept of values into the driving seat of decision-making. The focus of innovation then goes beyond product considerations to include the processes and – importantly – the purposes of innovation (Owen et al. 2013, 34). Shared public values are seen as the cornerstone of the new RRI framework, while market mechanisms and risk-based regulations are of a secondary order.
What are the values that could drive RRI? There are different approaches to the identification of public values. They can be located in democratically agreed processes and commitments (such as European Union treaties and policy statements) or they can be developed organically via public engagement processes. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, although constitutional values can be regarded as democratically legitimate, their application to specific technological fields can be difficult or ambiguous (Schroeder and Rerimassie 2015). On the other hand, public engagement can accurately reflect stakeholder values but is not necessarily free from bias and lobbyist agenda setting.
We argue that if RRI is to be more successful in resolving policy dilemmas arising from poorly described and uncertain technological impacts, basic universal principles need to be evoked and applied.
When looking at RRI from a ‘principled’ perspective, we consider responsibility and justice to be important cornerstones of the framework. One could describe them in the following manner:
Research and innovation should be conducted responsibly.
Publicly funded research and innovation should be focused fairly on socially beneficial targets. Research and innovation should promote and not hinder social justice.
The main aim of this article is to suggest a method of realising these principles through the application of a limited Rawlsian Difference Principle in the distribution of public funds for research and innovation.
This paper is in three parts. The first part discusses the above principles and introduces the Rawlsian Difference Principle. The second part identifies how RRI is currently applied by public funding bodies. The third part discusses the operationalisation of the Rawlsian Difference Principle in responsible funding decisions.
|Additional Information:||© 2015 Taylor & Francis|
|Subjects:||Historical & philosophical studies > Philosophy not elsewhere classified|
|Schools:||Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Nursing|
|Deposited By:||Carole Bruce|
|Deposited On:||26 Nov 2015 14:45|
|Last Modified:||21 Oct 2016 07:08|
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