The desire to guide research and innovation in more ‘responsible’ directions is increasingly emphasised in national and international policies, the funding of inter- and trans-disciplinary collaborations and academic scholarship on science policy and technology governance. Much of this growth has occurred simultaneously with the development of nanoscale sciences and technologies, where emphasis on the need for responsible research and innovation (RRI) has been particularly widespread. This paper describes an empirical study exploring the potential for RRI within nanosafety research in Norway and Denmark. It identifies three different ways nanosafety scientists relate to core RRI criteria, demonstrating areas of both convergence and divergence between their views and those of academics and policymakers currently defining and working to promote RRI. The paper identifies a range of practical barriers and cultural differences that are creating such divergences and inhibiting the enactment of RRI within the particular site of research laboratories. It concludes that the identified differences and challenges demand critical reflection on both the appropriateness and applicability of RRI characteristics for enactment at the level of individual research scientists. Significant changes are therefore advocated as required if RRI, as currently imagined and promoted, is to become an integral mode of scientific culture.
NanoEthics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 21, 2017
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