Tuesday 07

Challenges for Responsible Innovation - you are invited to join the conversation!

Posted by Dr. Rene von Schomberg on 07 May 2019

On the occasion of the book launch of the International Handbook on Responsible Innovation, a series of international events will take place to discuss the challenges ahead of us for the further development and implementation of responsible innovation. 

Below you will find the agenda’s for these events- with guest lectures and panels. Participation to these events is free but because of limited available seating, prior registration is necessary

...

See More
Wednesday 10

From MoRRI to SUPER_MoRRI: Monitoring as reflection & learning, NOT representation & control

Posted by Wouter van de Klippe, SUPER_MoRRI project on 10 Apr 2019

This post by Wouter van de Klippe was originally published at the CWTS´s Blog  on March 20th 2019

The MoRRI project had the aim of establishing a monitoring system that measures how, where, and to what extent Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has become interwoven within European Research practices.

The SUPER_MoRRI project aims to build on this monitoring system through empirical and theoretical work. Currently, SUPER_MoRRI is in its nascent stages, which offers a unique opportunity to reflect on potential improvements to be made from MoRRI.

In this blog post, Wouter van de Klippe aims to provide an impetus to re-conceptualize the function of monitoring throughout the SUPER_MoRRI project.

...

See More
Monday 04

"The predominant focus in academia is still publishing work that is read by ten other experts and never has any impact on anything. That’s the battle"

Posted by Social Observatory of "la Caixa" on 04 Mar 2019

Interview with James Wilsdon, professor of research policy at the University of Sheffield- originally published at Social Observatory "la Caixa"

James Wilsdon is professor of research policy at the University of Sheffield, and has led studies in the UK and abroad to analyse the use and effect of metrics in research assessment and management. He is vice-chair of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), a collaborative platform across national and international science advisory organisations that fosters evidence-informed policy formation.

How can funders (agencies, governments, foundations, etc.) use metrics to assess the excellence and impact of research? Do we agree on what excellence means and what impacts are desirable? 

This is an important part of the debate. And let me put the word “excellence” in quotes because sometimes it’s a problematic term. It obscures as much as it illuminates in terms of what we are valuing in the system. The balance between conventional criteria of research excellence (primarily assessed through citations, patents, etc.), alongside the growing emphasis for research to have broader forms of impacts on society and the economy, creates a need for more responsible use of metrics. 

Broadening out the range of metrics we use and accompanying them with sensible, qualitative peer review can be very helpful. Some altmetrics, for example, can be a way of recognising citations by non-academic bodies. If you treat these altmetrics as an important part of your assessment process, it will encourage academics to engage with other audiences than the academic community.  

Are altmetrics going to change the way we assess research outcomes?

A lot of the focus around altmetrics has been tilted towards social media. And that’s interesting, but it’s a rather superficial proxy for really understanding whether research is having an impact on important societal problems such as changing the practice of the criminal justice system. What’s happening in social media can give us some useful information, but I think it would be dangerous to link funding to those indicators. 

In general, we are at a very early stage in developing effective indicators for societal impacts. There’s room for developing newer and more helpful impact metrics.

...

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
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

Follow us: