Thursday 05

Responsible research and innovation: are we reinventing the wheel?

Posted by the King Baudouin Foundation on 05 Feb 2015

The King Baudouin Foundation published in 1985 a report titled ‘Scientific research at the service of society' (RRI 1.0). A high level multidisciplinary group made recommendations underlining the importance of participation of society, the need to enhance collaboration between stakeholders, the need of long term and middle term anticipation. They proposed to create a science museum in Belgium.

Nearly 30 years later some things have changed, but there is still a gap to close between science and society.  

On 2nd October we organized a first workshop in the framework of the RRI Tools project in Brussels in Dutch - followed on 7th November by a second workshop in French in the same city. Stakeholders were happy to speak together about their promising initiatives but also about their constraints and obstacles to implement RRI. There were good ideas and a real will to continue the reflection and to contribute to the RRI Community.

Participants recognized there is now a real urgency to change mentalities. Process requirements are not just supplementary constraints to obtain funding but are there to increase the positive outcomes of RRI. This change is really coming up but it needs to be supported by tools. It is a collective and multi-stakeholder challenge but every single actor can make the difference to convince all stakeholders (researchers, industry, policy-makers, education community, civil society organisations...) of the positive outcomes of RRI.

Mix-matching ideas at the first Brussels workshop

You see on the picture we gathered a patchwork of information. It will be great to assemble the results coming from different countries and regions. As a member of the RRI Tools project we are happy to contribute to RRI 3.0! 

For those of you who can read Dutch or French, here are the reports of the 2nd October workshop and the 7th November workshop, summarizing the key learnings of these stakeholders' consultations. This way, you can see what RRI is all about and that RRI is actually happening near to you. Should you like to know more about RRI in Belgium and to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact us. And if you live in another country in Europe, remember that there is probably a local RRI Tools Hub next to your place!

Bénédicte Gombault and Sara Heesterbeek

Bénédicte Gombault and Sara Heesterbeek work on RRI Tools at the King Baudouin Foundation in Brussels, the RRI Tools Hub coordinator for Belgium and Luxembourg.


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