Wednesday 28

«Science was never intended to be in the market, but today it’s a commodity» - interview with Andrea Saltelli

Posted by Social Observatory of "la Caixa" on 28 Jun 2017

«Science was never intended to be in the market, but today it’s a commodity»

Interview with Andrea Saltelli - originally published at Social Observatory "la Caixa"

Andrea Saltelli (Italy, 1953) is adjunct professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Bergen (Norway) and guest researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Together with philosopher Silvio Funtowicz he has recently written a series of pieces on the post-truth debate.   

---------------------------

Everybody is talking about a crisis in science... What’s it about?

First of all, there is a crisis in replicability which is especially evident in the medical field, replicability meaning that a study should produce the same results if repeated exactly. Many articles have been written by people who attempted to replicate experiments and were disappointed to find how many of them failed. For instance, John Ioannidis and others have tried to replicate preclinical and clinical experiments.

 

What are the causes of this crisis?

This discussion can be thrown open very wide because there is a chain of causes. The main one is that science was never thought or designed to be in the market. But today science is a commodity: it is in the market, and it’s sold at a price. Historian Philip Mirowski has detailed this process in a book called Science-Mart. Privatizing American Science. It’s a play on words to express that when science becomes a supermarket, when it becomes too much of a commodity and it’s sold over the counter, the result is that its quality disappears.

 

Is this happening in all disciplines?

It affects all fields; it is also notable in psychology. Nobel Prize laureate Daniel Kahneman, who wrote the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, was the first person to realize that something was going really wrong because experiments could not be replicated. Auguste Comte, a mid-19th century philosopher, thought that sciences follow a hierarchy, according to how close they are to exact laws. So at the top you have mathematics, geometry, and then you have physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences. The more you move away from the top, from exact laws, the closer you get to domains where things become messier, more complex. Nearly two centuries after Comte, Daniele Fanelli looked at reproducibility rates across disciplines. He found that the lower you travel down the hierarchy of sciences, the greater the increase in positive results, which confirmed his hypothesis that 'softer' disciplines are more prone to bias.

 

In this sense, where are the limits of science?

Science cannot solve every problem. Reductionism is the idea that you can take a complex system, cut it down into bits, and if you study all the bits, then you understand the complex system. But there are systems which cannot be treated in this way, for example living systems. Whenever you want to study a biological system, you have to somehow delimit it. But how do you delimit it? In organisms, everything is linked to everything else.

...

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Thursday 22

Roll the RRI Dice!

Posted by Antonina Khodzhaeva and Andrea Troncoso on 22 Jun 2017

The Ecsite team created for the RRI Tools toolkit a dice that gives the oportunity to provoke conversations, reflections and create scenarios, especially thought for RRI Trainings or RRI meetings. 

 

...

See More
Monday 12

First workshop on Exploring the Application of RRI to Innovation Ecosystems EARRI’17

Posted by Francesco Niglia‎ on 12 Jun 2017

We invite empirical and methodological contributions focusing on the adoption of one or more pillars of RRI perspective to contribute to the definition of guidelines for the application of RRI in innovation ecosystems that include citizens and the territory. The adoption of RRI principles can significantly enhance the explanation of dynamic phenomena such as organizational capabilities and routines, strategic behaviour, entrepreneurship, organizational learning, and innovation.

List of topics:

  •  Original Best Practices of application of one or more of RRI pillars (public engagement, science education, ethics, open access, gender) in an Innovation Ecosystem and its communication to the public via courses or events.
  • Methods and examples of research, businesses and organisations (both for-profit and non-profit) creating synergies in new strategies, products, services and concepts that provide answers to ethic and gender issues.
  • Contributions on how the RRI approach affects the development and implementation of policies targeting the dynamics of innovation systems are also welcome.
...

See More
Tuesday 30

Conference "Responsible Research and Innovation in the health industry"- key messages from round tables

Posted by RRI Tools on 30 May 2017

 

The way forward: key messages from round tables 

Closing remarks by Ignasi López at the Conference “Responsible Research and Innovation in the Health Industry” held at the EESC premises, in Brussels, on 18 and 19 May 2017.

I would like to thank all speakers and the moderator. This Conference is a joint initiative of the ELSI Board of the EIT Health and the Final Conference of the Responsible Industry project, together with the European Commission, the EESC and the “la Caixa" Foundation, who I do represent.  I would like to thank them all.

 I was asked to wrap up. And it is an honor to do so. 

 1st day: May 18th – some key messages:

  • “No research and innovation about me without me”: there is a bottom up claim from society
  • And a political answer:  the framework of RRI 
    • A number of challenges are ahead
    • In a very complex context

And a headline from EESC: “RRI - or however we call it - seems to be mature enough to embed it in the biggest R&I funding programme in the world: FP9”

In the 1st round table we saw amazing experiences of citizen engagement in different fields of R&I in the health sector: engagement of patients in the editorial process, as end users of innovation, as innovators… Through living labs, maker spaces, citizen science, biolabs, science museums, in industry (big corporates, SMEs and entrepreneurs...)

...

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Monday 10

Responsible research and innovation in the health industry

Posted by RRI Tools on 10 Apr 2017

Responsible Research and Innovation calls for innovation that integrates societal concerns in all the phases of R&I, from the design of the research agendas to the commercialization of research outcomes. The idea of RRI is that anticipating the social needs and concerns of novel technologies by integrating wider society will facilitate better innovation. 

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Economic and Social Committee and the EU project Responsible-Industry organize the conference “Responsible Research and Innovation in the Health Industry” to be held at the EESC premises, in Brussels, on 18 and 19 May 2017.

The conference will discuss how RRI can help to boost innovation in biomedicine and health with a special focus on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It will ask how social values and needs can be “integrated from scratch” and which drivers and obstacles RRI encounters when implemented in companies.

...

See More
Wednesday 28

«Science was never intended to be in the market, but today it’s a commodity» - interview with Andrea Saltelli

Posted by Social Observatory of "la Caixa" on 28 Jun 2017

«Science was never intended to be in the market, but today it’s a commodity»

Interview with Andrea Saltelli - originally published at Social Observatory "la Caixa"

Andrea Saltelli (Italy, 1953) is adjunct professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities at the University of Bergen (Norway) and guest researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Together with philosopher Silvio Funtowicz he has recently written a series of pieces on the post-truth debate.   

---------------------------

Everybody is talking about a crisis in science... What’s it about?

First of all, there is a crisis in replicability which is especially evident in the medical field, replicability meaning that a study should produce the same results if repeated exactly. Many articles have been written by people who attempted to replicate experiments and were disappointed to find how many of them failed. For instance, John Ioannidis and others have tried to replicate preclinical and clinical experiments.

 

What are the causes of this crisis?

This discussion can be thrown open very wide because there is a chain of causes. The main one is that science was never thought or designed to be in the market. But today science is a commodity: it is in the market, and it’s sold at a price. Historian Philip Mirowski has detailed this process in a book called Science-Mart. Privatizing American Science. It’s a play on words to express that when science becomes a supermarket, when it becomes too much of a commodity and it’s sold over the counter, the result is that its quality disappears.

 

Is this happening in all disciplines?

It affects all fields; it is also notable in psychology. Nobel Prize laureate Daniel Kahneman, who wrote the book Thinking, Fast and Slow, was the first person to realize that something was going really wrong because experiments could not be replicated. Auguste Comte, a mid-19th century philosopher, thought that sciences follow a hierarchy, according to how close they are to exact laws. So at the top you have mathematics, geometry, and then you have physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences. The more you move away from the top, from exact laws, the closer you get to domains where things become messier, more complex. Nearly two centuries after Comte, Daniele Fanelli looked at reproducibility rates across disciplines. He found that the lower you travel down the hierarchy of sciences, the greater the increase in positive results, which confirmed his hypothesis that 'softer' disciplines are more prone to bias.

 

In this sense, where are the limits of science?

Science cannot solve every problem. Reductionism is the idea that you can take a complex system, cut it down into bits, and if you study all the bits, then you understand the complex system. But there are systems which cannot be treated in this way, for example living systems. Whenever you want to study a biological system, you have to somehow delimit it. But how do you delimit it? In organisms, everything is linked to everything else.

...

See More
Thursday 22

Roll the RRI Dice!

Posted by Antonina Khodzhaeva and Andrea Troncoso on 22 Jun 2017

The Ecsite team created for the RRI Tools toolkit a dice that gives the oportunity to provoke conversations, reflections and create scenarios, especially thought for RRI Trainings or RRI meetings. 

 

...

See More
Monday 12

First workshop on Exploring the Application of RRI to Innovation Ecosystems EARRI’17

Posted by Francesco Niglia‎ on 12 Jun 2017

We invite empirical and methodological contributions focusing on the adoption of one or more pillars of RRI perspective to contribute to the definition of guidelines for the application of RRI in innovation ecosystems that include citizens and the territory. The adoption of RRI principles can significantly enhance the explanation of dynamic phenomena such as organizational capabilities and routines, strategic behaviour, entrepreneurship, organizational learning, and innovation.

List of topics:

  •  Original Best Practices of application of one or more of RRI pillars (public engagement, science education, ethics, open access, gender) in an Innovation Ecosystem and its communication to the public via courses or events.
  • Methods and examples of research, businesses and organisations (both for-profit and non-profit) creating synergies in new strategies, products, services and concepts that provide answers to ethic and gender issues.
  • Contributions on how the RRI approach affects the development and implementation of policies targeting the dynamics of innovation systems are also welcome.
...

See More
Tuesday 30

Conference "Responsible Research and Innovation in the health industry"- key messages from round tables

Posted by RRI Tools on 30 May 2017

 

The way forward: key messages from round tables 

Closing remarks by Ignasi López at the Conference “Responsible Research and Innovation in the Health Industry” held at the EESC premises, in Brussels, on 18 and 19 May 2017.

I would like to thank all speakers and the moderator. This Conference is a joint initiative of the ELSI Board of the EIT Health and the Final Conference of the Responsible Industry project, together with the European Commission, the EESC and the “la Caixa" Foundation, who I do represent.  I would like to thank them all.

 I was asked to wrap up. And it is an honor to do so. 

 1st day: May 18th – some key messages:

  • “No research and innovation about me without me”: there is a bottom up claim from society
  • And a political answer:  the framework of RRI 
    • A number of challenges are ahead
    • In a very complex context

And a headline from EESC: “RRI - or however we call it - seems to be mature enough to embed it in the biggest R&I funding programme in the world: FP9”

In the 1st round table we saw amazing experiences of citizen engagement in different fields of R&I in the health sector: engagement of patients in the editorial process, as end users of innovation, as innovators… Through living labs, maker spaces, citizen science, biolabs, science museums, in industry (big corporates, SMEs and entrepreneurs...)

...

See More
Monday 10

Responsible research and innovation in the health industry

Posted by RRI Tools on 10 Apr 2017

Responsible Research and Innovation calls for innovation that integrates societal concerns in all the phases of R&I, from the design of the research agendas to the commercialization of research outcomes. The idea of RRI is that anticipating the social needs and concerns of novel technologies by integrating wider society will facilitate better innovation. 

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Economic and Social Committee and the EU project Responsible-Industry organize the conference “Responsible Research and Innovation in the Health Industry” to be held at the EESC premises, in Brussels, on 18 and 19 May 2017.

The conference will discuss how RRI can help to boost innovation in biomedicine and health with a special focus on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It will ask how social values and needs can be “integrated from scratch” and which drivers and obstacles RRI encounters when implemented in companies.

...

See More

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