Tuesday 21

3 RRI Job Opportunities

Posted by RRI Tools on 21 Nov 2017

  • University of Nottingham Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) is seeking a Senior Research Fellow in Responsible Research and Innovation

SBRC Nottingham is one of six UK centre’s created by the BBSRC/EPSRC and has received £14.3M in funding for a 5 year period (2014-2019). SBRC-Nottingham is an exciting interdisciplinary large scale project, involving the creation and exploitation of gas fermenting microbial chassis as it relates to the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. 

This post is core to the social science aspect of the SBRC, concerned with embedding and researching ‘responsible research and innovation’ approaches. 

Applications are invited to the above role to conduct high quality research, shape the core SBRC project as well as related projects, take initiative, and publish the results of the work in high quality outlets and publications. Work will focus in particular on further developing and implementing a framework of Responsible Research Innovation (RRI) and bringing the social science part of the project to fruition, paying particular attention to developing interactions with industry and policy makers. The role holder will collaborate with the SBRC Outreach Officer in shaping project related-engagement activities. The role holder will also have the opportunity to use their initiative and creativity to identify areas for research, develop research methods and extend their research portfolio.

Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent (awarded) in a discipline relevant to social science, political science, bioethics, or philosophy. You will be an international post-doctoral researcher with substantial research experience with a background in social science or related interdisciplinary fields and a proven ability and willingness to engage in interdisciplinary research. The ideal candidate will have demonstrable interest in Responsible Research and Innovation.

This full-time fixed-term post is available until 30 July 2019.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday, 13th December 2017

More info here 

  • Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is looking for a Research Associate in Science Communication

Your tasks: Mix of teaching science communication and doing comms for major #RRI project
 Internal and external project communication (nucleus-project.eu)
 Media releases, audio and video production, newsletter and website texts, social media
 Support in project administration, reporting and event management (e.g. public engagement)
 Teaching support in Science Communication (bit.ly/SciComm-DE)
 Management and support with course material and field trips
 Co-supervision of final theses and student projects
 Coordination of our Cross-media Production Lab 

Fixed-term contract until 31.08.2019

Deadline for applications: 29th November 2017

More info here 

  • The European Science Engagement Association (EUSEA) is looking for support in the PERFORM Project

This job is related with the organisation of the PERFORM final conference. UNESCO will be responsible for this conference at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in close collaboration with EUSEA. UNESCO will convene representatives of PERFORM stakeholders (students and teachers from the schools who participated in case studies, early career researchers from case studies) as well as European policy-makers, UN representatives, invited speakers including members of the PERFORM advisory board, and other interested practitioners (i.e., entrepreneurs in STEM fields, including industry). This final event will compile the most relevant research results and toolkits of the project, and will show the best ways for PERFORM methodologies implementation in Member States through oral presentations, panel discussions and round tables.

The extent of the responsibility is primarily limited to the actual structure and arrangements; it is expected that all partners will add knowledge and experience to the programme, e.g. by inviting educational, scientific and policy relevant organizations representatives as speakers and moderators. A separate programme committee will be set up, as well as a local organization committee. Contracts with service providers, including venue, local staff, catering, conference administration, etc will be organized by UNESCO.

The person selected will collaborate with the EUSEA team and project officer and with the UNESCO team in developing the following tasks:

  • The person will deal with guests and stakeholders providing information about both conference contents and logistical aspects.
  • S/he will take care of the invitations to speakers and information to be provided to them or to be collected from them to set up the sessions.
  • S/he will collaborate with the management of the conference sessions, working together with EUSEA, UNESCO and the Perform project management team in defining the finale programme, possible guests and speakers of the sessions and taking care of verifying all the logistical aspects related to the session. In this process, the person will deal with the consortium partners involved in the organization of the conference.
  • S/he will take part into the meetings planned for the organization and will implement the actions defined by EUSEA and UNESCO aiming at the organization of the conference.
  • S/he will support and collaborate with the implementation of the communication actions designed and managed by the EUSEA team to promote the participation into the conference.

The estimated workload will be 12 hours a week, for a period of 6 months, from December 2017 until June 2018. The distribution of work will depend on the required tasks during different periods.

Please send your applications, including your salary expectations and your earliest possible starting date until 29 November 2017

More info here

...

See More
Thursday 02

“Science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues” - interview with Lee Rainie & Cary Funk

Posted by Social Observatory of "la Caixa" on 02 Nov 2017

“Science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues”

Interview with Lee Rainie & Cary Funk from Pew Research Center.- originally published at Social Observatory "la Caixa"

Lee Rainie and Cary Funk are the heads of Internet, Science and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, a fact tank that informs the public about issues, attitudes and trends that are shaping the world. As a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder, it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-advocacy organization, based on values such as independence, objectivity and rigor. Lee Rainie is the Center’s director of internet, science and technology research, and supervises the surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives, as well as the intersection of science and society. Cary Funk is an associate director for research, focusing on science.

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

Pew Research Center conducts a wealth of research and produces many facts. How do you choose your research topics?

We are constantly looking to see which topics and key questions in society are pressing issues and could benefit from the kind of data and analysis that we can provide. Our mission is to conduct original, primary research that helps inform major policy decisions and cultural conversations. This means that we spend a lot of time trying to discern noteworthy and urgent issues in public discourse and determining which of these conversations might be helped by the kind of sound, timely data and analysis that we provide. However, we do not perform our research for the purpose of taking a position on policy outcomes.

 

Since facts are never completely neutral, do you take any neutrality measures with regard to dissemination?

We work to make sure that our research is balanced and neutral, starting with how we design our questions right through to how we describe our findings. Dissemination of our research focuses on people, groups and organizations who share an interest in the topic under study, regardless of their policy position. So, for instance, we hope our material is equally useful to those who want to limit immigration even more and to those who support more liberal immigration policies, or to those who want to cut science research and those who support higher levels of science research. We know that we are achieving our goals for balanced research when advocates on both sides of an issue cite our studies. For example, we recently observed in an appeals court that the judges on both sides of an immigration argument used our data to support their opinions on the case.

 

Why has the Pew Research Center expanded its research on science and society?

The Center decided to expand its research in these areas for three reasons. First, science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues: significant policy and ethical questions are driven by what scientists discover and how policymakers and the general public react to those discoveries. Second, science and technology innovations are at the heart of societal change: nations look to breakthroughs in nanotechnology, genomics, brain science, energy technologies, food production, robotics and other fields to fuel economic growth. Third, scientific findings are a key battleground for how cultures decide what is true: the rise of the internet and the explosion of communities of interest around science issues have raised fundamental questions about how facts are unearthed and what meaning they should be assigned when crafting policy solutions.

 

What is the relevance of science research in relation to other topics tackled by the Center, such as politics and religion?

As we already said, science issues are more broadly civic issues. Our analysis of public attitudes across 23 science-related issues showed that sometimes people’s political views are a major influence on their positions on a science issue and sometimes their religious beliefs and practices are a notable influence. Other times, people’s general level of education and their specific level of knowledge about science are influences. We find that some judgments about science are increasingly divided along partisan lines, such as support for federal government spending on scientific research, but also that many science subjects are not swept up by partisan hostilities.

The thing we find most fascinating with regard to all of these issues is that there is no single explanation for why people think the way they do about science. For example, people’s political views matter significantly in their thinking about climate change and energy issues, whereas religion is strongly related to how people think about end-of-life medical issues and people’s views about biomedical advances on the horizon

 

In science debates, what carries more weight: political ideology or facts? 

People’s political orientations appear to serve as an anchoring point for how knowledge influences their attitudes. For example, many in the scientific community believe that if the American public were better informed about the science behind climate change and energy issues, people would hold views more closely aligned with those of scientific experts. But as we found in a 2016 Pew Research Center survey on these issues, how much people know about science has only a modest and inconsistent correlation with their attitudes about climate and energy issues, whereas partisanship is a stronger factor in people’s beliefs. People’s level of science knowledge help to explain their beliefs about climate change to a certain degree, but the relationship is a complicated one.

...

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Wednesday 18

Get to know the RRI Tools ppts - developed to help you disseminate the RRI concept

Posted by RRI Tools on 18 Oct 2017

The RRI Tools project team has developed a series power point presentations (ppts) with the purpose to provide users with communication and advocacy tools for the dissemination of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concept. They were hence created to be used and adapted as convenient to:    

  • Disseminate the concept of RRI.
  • Empower as many actors as possible in following and implementing the RRI principles.
  • Help users find guidance and further information with the RRI Toolkit.

The following ppts are available:

...

See More
Monday 09

Main results from the EU4FACTS Conference - Evidence for policy in a post-fact world

Posted by RRI Tools on 09 Oct 2017

Clear recommendations for successful evidence-informed policy making was the aim for the 2017 Joint Research Centre (JRC) annual conference that took place last September 26th in Brussels

It offered an open encounter between leading experts from the fields of science, policy and media.

Background

The interaction between science and policy has never been straightforward. But this relationship has been further complicated by the current post-fact debate. This crisis is a challenge for the whole of society, not only scientists, experts, the media and policymakers, but also for politicians. We need to learn from past success and failures in building policy on evidence, to understand the causes of this crisis and to chart a new course for organisations operating at the inter-section of facts, politics and the media.

Policy making needs to find the balance between facts and values. Linear thinking cannot be applied to the relationship between science, society and policy anymore. Scientists, politicians and citizens need new models and processes to connect, to develop new thinking and to communicate new narratives.

The process needs to become more open, involving all interest groups (scientists, policymakers and society) from the design and production to the delivery phase.

Contents

  • Why should we trust science? - The role of science in times of fake news and ‘filter bubbles’.
  • Re-designing policymaking using behavioural and decision science - How can evidence and data be effectively balanced with values and emotions when policy decisions are taken?

You can download the complete EU4FACTS programme from here

Keynote Speakers

  • Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
  • Pascal LAMY, former European Commissioner, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • Sir Peter GLUCKMAN, Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Chair International Network for Science Advice to Governments (INGSA)

See the complete list of speakers & bios here

MAIN OUTCOMES OF THE CONFERENCE

...

See More
Thursday 28

Two recent scientific publications focused on the RRI Tools project

Posted by RRI Tools on 28 Sep 2017

  • Review of the RRI Tools project at the Journal of Responsible Innovation - by Christopher Groves

ABSTRACT - The RRI Tools project, funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (2007–2013), is an important attempt to translate key guiding principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI) into a compendium of best practices to assist researchers and practitioners. It has set up a valuable database of practical and other reference resources, instigated an EU-wide community of practice, and begun rolling out training in RRI. By placing engagement at the heart of the RRI endeavour, it raises again important questions relating to how engagement is done and how it relates to the broader processes and institutional contexts in which innovation happens

Christopher Groves is researcher in Social Sciences at Cardiff University

See complete pape here

  • Responsible Research and Innovation. How to Put Gender Equality into Practice? - by Justyna Wojniak

ABSTRACT - ​This paper discusses a project devoted to the concept of responsibility in the field of research and innovation, which has been initiated by the European Commission in recent years [the RRI Tools project]. The key element of this project is performing science with society and for society, which includes wide cooperation with different societal actors, representing researchers, business, civil society and policy makers. An important part of this concept is diversity and gender equality in the research and innovation sector. These issues are also perceived as instruments of shaping correct relationship between science and society. The paper presents the main initiatives under the Responsible Research and Innovation project and selected good practices introduced by research institutions aimed at overcoming gender imbalance in the scientific profession within the European Union.

Justyna Wojniak is proffesor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow and board member of the Foundation “Women Scienctists – Polish Women Scientists Network”

See complete paper here 

...

See More
Tuesday 21

3 RRI Job Opportunities

Posted by RRI Tools on 21 Nov 2017

  • University of Nottingham Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) is seeking a Senior Research Fellow in Responsible Research and Innovation

SBRC Nottingham is one of six UK centre’s created by the BBSRC/EPSRC and has received £14.3M in funding for a 5 year period (2014-2019). SBRC-Nottingham is an exciting interdisciplinary large scale project, involving the creation and exploitation of gas fermenting microbial chassis as it relates to the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. 

This post is core to the social science aspect of the SBRC, concerned with embedding and researching ‘responsible research and innovation’ approaches. 

Applications are invited to the above role to conduct high quality research, shape the core SBRC project as well as related projects, take initiative, and publish the results of the work in high quality outlets and publications. Work will focus in particular on further developing and implementing a framework of Responsible Research Innovation (RRI) and bringing the social science part of the project to fruition, paying particular attention to developing interactions with industry and policy makers. The role holder will collaborate with the SBRC Outreach Officer in shaping project related-engagement activities. The role holder will also have the opportunity to use their initiative and creativity to identify areas for research, develop research methods and extend their research portfolio.

Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent (awarded) in a discipline relevant to social science, political science, bioethics, or philosophy. You will be an international post-doctoral researcher with substantial research experience with a background in social science or related interdisciplinary fields and a proven ability and willingness to engage in interdisciplinary research. The ideal candidate will have demonstrable interest in Responsible Research and Innovation.

This full-time fixed-term post is available until 30 July 2019.

Deadline for applications: Wednesday, 13th December 2017

More info here 

  • Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is looking for a Research Associate in Science Communication

Your tasks: Mix of teaching science communication and doing comms for major #RRI project
 Internal and external project communication (nucleus-project.eu)
 Media releases, audio and video production, newsletter and website texts, social media
 Support in project administration, reporting and event management (e.g. public engagement)
 Teaching support in Science Communication (bit.ly/SciComm-DE)
 Management and support with course material and field trips
 Co-supervision of final theses and student projects
 Coordination of our Cross-media Production Lab 

Fixed-term contract until 31.08.2019

Deadline for applications: 29th November 2017

More info here 

  • The European Science Engagement Association (EUSEA) is looking for support in the PERFORM Project

This job is related with the organisation of the PERFORM final conference. UNESCO will be responsible for this conference at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in close collaboration with EUSEA. UNESCO will convene representatives of PERFORM stakeholders (students and teachers from the schools who participated in case studies, early career researchers from case studies) as well as European policy-makers, UN representatives, invited speakers including members of the PERFORM advisory board, and other interested practitioners (i.e., entrepreneurs in STEM fields, including industry). This final event will compile the most relevant research results and toolkits of the project, and will show the best ways for PERFORM methodologies implementation in Member States through oral presentations, panel discussions and round tables.

The extent of the responsibility is primarily limited to the actual structure and arrangements; it is expected that all partners will add knowledge and experience to the programme, e.g. by inviting educational, scientific and policy relevant organizations representatives as speakers and moderators. A separate programme committee will be set up, as well as a local organization committee. Contracts with service providers, including venue, local staff, catering, conference administration, etc will be organized by UNESCO.

The person selected will collaborate with the EUSEA team and project officer and with the UNESCO team in developing the following tasks:

  • The person will deal with guests and stakeholders providing information about both conference contents and logistical aspects.
  • S/he will take care of the invitations to speakers and information to be provided to them or to be collected from them to set up the sessions.
  • S/he will collaborate with the management of the conference sessions, working together with EUSEA, UNESCO and the Perform project management team in defining the finale programme, possible guests and speakers of the sessions and taking care of verifying all the logistical aspects related to the session. In this process, the person will deal with the consortium partners involved in the organization of the conference.
  • S/he will take part into the meetings planned for the organization and will implement the actions defined by EUSEA and UNESCO aiming at the organization of the conference.
  • S/he will support and collaborate with the implementation of the communication actions designed and managed by the EUSEA team to promote the participation into the conference.

The estimated workload will be 12 hours a week, for a period of 6 months, from December 2017 until June 2018. The distribution of work will depend on the required tasks during different periods.

Please send your applications, including your salary expectations and your earliest possible starting date until 29 November 2017

More info here

...

See More
Thursday 02

“Science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues” - interview with Lee Rainie & Cary Funk

Posted by Social Observatory of "la Caixa" on 02 Nov 2017

“Science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues”

Interview with Lee Rainie & Cary Funk from Pew Research Center.- originally published at Social Observatory "la Caixa"

Lee Rainie and Cary Funk are the heads of Internet, Science and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, a fact tank that informs the public about issues, attitudes and trends that are shaping the world. As a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder, it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-advocacy organization, based on values such as independence, objectivity and rigor. Lee Rainie is the Center’s director of internet, science and technology research, and supervises the surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives, as well as the intersection of science and society. Cary Funk is an associate director for research, focusing on science.

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

Pew Research Center conducts a wealth of research and produces many facts. How do you choose your research topics?

We are constantly looking to see which topics and key questions in society are pressing issues and could benefit from the kind of data and analysis that we can provide. Our mission is to conduct original, primary research that helps inform major policy decisions and cultural conversations. This means that we spend a lot of time trying to discern noteworthy and urgent issues in public discourse and determining which of these conversations might be helped by the kind of sound, timely data and analysis that we provide. However, we do not perform our research for the purpose of taking a position on policy outcomes.

 

Since facts are never completely neutral, do you take any neutrality measures with regard to dissemination?

We work to make sure that our research is balanced and neutral, starting with how we design our questions right through to how we describe our findings. Dissemination of our research focuses on people, groups and organizations who share an interest in the topic under study, regardless of their policy position. So, for instance, we hope our material is equally useful to those who want to limit immigration even more and to those who support more liberal immigration policies, or to those who want to cut science research and those who support higher levels of science research. We know that we are achieving our goals for balanced research when advocates on both sides of an issue cite our studies. For example, we recently observed in an appeals court that the judges on both sides of an immigration argument used our data to support their opinions on the case.

 

Why has the Pew Research Center expanded its research on science and society?

The Center decided to expand its research in these areas for three reasons. First, science issues are increasingly pressing civic issues: significant policy and ethical questions are driven by what scientists discover and how policymakers and the general public react to those discoveries. Second, science and technology innovations are at the heart of societal change: nations look to breakthroughs in nanotechnology, genomics, brain science, energy technologies, food production, robotics and other fields to fuel economic growth. Third, scientific findings are a key battleground for how cultures decide what is true: the rise of the internet and the explosion of communities of interest around science issues have raised fundamental questions about how facts are unearthed and what meaning they should be assigned when crafting policy solutions.

 

What is the relevance of science research in relation to other topics tackled by the Center, such as politics and religion?

As we already said, science issues are more broadly civic issues. Our analysis of public attitudes across 23 science-related issues showed that sometimes people’s political views are a major influence on their positions on a science issue and sometimes their religious beliefs and practices are a notable influence. Other times, people’s general level of education and their specific level of knowledge about science are influences. We find that some judgments about science are increasingly divided along partisan lines, such as support for federal government spending on scientific research, but also that many science subjects are not swept up by partisan hostilities.

The thing we find most fascinating with regard to all of these issues is that there is no single explanation for why people think the way they do about science. For example, people’s political views matter significantly in their thinking about climate change and energy issues, whereas religion is strongly related to how people think about end-of-life medical issues and people’s views about biomedical advances on the horizon

 

In science debates, what carries more weight: political ideology or facts? 

People’s political orientations appear to serve as an anchoring point for how knowledge influences their attitudes. For example, many in the scientific community believe that if the American public were better informed about the science behind climate change and energy issues, people would hold views more closely aligned with those of scientific experts. But as we found in a 2016 Pew Research Center survey on these issues, how much people know about science has only a modest and inconsistent correlation with their attitudes about climate and energy issues, whereas partisanship is a stronger factor in people’s beliefs. People’s level of science knowledge help to explain their beliefs about climate change to a certain degree, but the relationship is a complicated one.

...

See More
Wednesday 18

Get to know the RRI Tools ppts - developed to help you disseminate the RRI concept

Posted by RRI Tools on 18 Oct 2017

The RRI Tools project team has developed a series power point presentations (ppts) with the purpose to provide users with communication and advocacy tools for the dissemination of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) concept. They were hence created to be used and adapted as convenient to:    

  • Disseminate the concept of RRI.
  • Empower as many actors as possible in following and implementing the RRI principles.
  • Help users find guidance and further information with the RRI Toolkit.

The following ppts are available:

...

See More
Monday 09

Main results from the EU4FACTS Conference - Evidence for policy in a post-fact world

Posted by RRI Tools on 09 Oct 2017

Clear recommendations for successful evidence-informed policy making was the aim for the 2017 Joint Research Centre (JRC) annual conference that took place last September 26th in Brussels

It offered an open encounter between leading experts from the fields of science, policy and media.

Background

The interaction between science and policy has never been straightforward. But this relationship has been further complicated by the current post-fact debate. This crisis is a challenge for the whole of society, not only scientists, experts, the media and policymakers, but also for politicians. We need to learn from past success and failures in building policy on evidence, to understand the causes of this crisis and to chart a new course for organisations operating at the inter-section of facts, politics and the media.

Policy making needs to find the balance between facts and values. Linear thinking cannot be applied to the relationship between science, society and policy anymore. Scientists, politicians and citizens need new models and processes to connect, to develop new thinking and to communicate new narratives.

The process needs to become more open, involving all interest groups (scientists, policymakers and society) from the design and production to the delivery phase.

Contents

  • Why should we trust science? - The role of science in times of fake news and ‘filter bubbles’.
  • Re-designing policymaking using behavioural and decision science - How can evidence and data be effectively balanced with values and emotions when policy decisions are taken?

You can download the complete EU4FACTS programme from here

Keynote Speakers

  • Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
  • Pascal LAMY, former European Commissioner, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization
  • Sir Peter GLUCKMAN, Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Chair International Network for Science Advice to Governments (INGSA)

See the complete list of speakers & bios here

MAIN OUTCOMES OF THE CONFERENCE

...

See More
Thursday 28

Two recent scientific publications focused on the RRI Tools project

Posted by RRI Tools on 28 Sep 2017

  • Review of the RRI Tools project at the Journal of Responsible Innovation - by Christopher Groves

ABSTRACT - The RRI Tools project, funded under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (2007–2013), is an important attempt to translate key guiding principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI) into a compendium of best practices to assist researchers and practitioners. It has set up a valuable database of practical and other reference resources, instigated an EU-wide community of practice, and begun rolling out training in RRI. By placing engagement at the heart of the RRI endeavour, it raises again important questions relating to how engagement is done and how it relates to the broader processes and institutional contexts in which innovation happens

Christopher Groves is researcher in Social Sciences at Cardiff University

See complete pape here

  • Responsible Research and Innovation. How to Put Gender Equality into Practice? - by Justyna Wojniak

ABSTRACT - ​This paper discusses a project devoted to the concept of responsibility in the field of research and innovation, which has been initiated by the European Commission in recent years [the RRI Tools project]. The key element of this project is performing science with society and for society, which includes wide cooperation with different societal actors, representing researchers, business, civil society and policy makers. An important part of this concept is diversity and gender equality in the research and innovation sector. These issues are also perceived as instruments of shaping correct relationship between science and society. The paper presents the main initiatives under the Responsible Research and Innovation project and selected good practices introduced by research institutions aimed at overcoming gender imbalance in the scientific profession within the European Union.

Justyna Wojniak is proffesor at the Pedagogical University of Cracow and board member of the Foundation “Women Scienctists – Polish Women Scientists Network”

See complete paper here 

...

See More

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