Science Advanced through Virtual Institutes (SAVI): Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation

Project: Research project

Project Details


Science Advanced through Virtual Institutes (SAVI): Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation Responsible innovation (RI) is an emerging term of art in Europe and the United States. In one definition, it is a transparent, interactive process by which societal actors and innovators become mutually responsive to each other with a view to the (ethical) acceptability, sustainability and societal desirability of the innovation process and its marketable products (in order to allow a proper embedding of scientific and technological advances in our society) (von Schomberg 2011). In another, it is a commitment of care for the future through collective stewardship of science and innovation in the present (Owen et al. in prep.). Responsible development and prudent vigilance are cognates. While there are various conceptions of RI, their central tendencies: 1) recognize that research and innovation have normative dimensions that, if more frequently engaged, could yield greater benefits; 2) understand that responsibility means (in part) pursuing research and innovation in accord with the considered values of the wider community; 3) note that the research and innovation community has, historically, accommodated concerns about responsibility in human and animal research and in economically useful research; and 4) conclude that RI must be broader than dont mistreat your living research subjects and try to contribute to economic development when possible. RI explicitly addresses connections between the considered values of the wider community and how we make policy decisions that encourage them. With historical, ethical, sociological and political components, RI fits squarely within the concerns of science, technology and society. RI is also about the strategic actions of research councils and funding agencies and their consequences for research projects, programs, and outcomes; it will thus be of interest to science of science and innovation policy. The Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI) would yoke together RI research, training and outreach at some of the worlds leading academic centers. VIRIs hub is the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU), a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center funded by NSF to examine the societal aspects of nanotechnology. VIRI includes members from the United Kingdom (Durham, Exeter, and Sussex), the Netherlands (Maastricht), Germany (Karlsruhe), and Canada (Waterloo), as well as affiliates in the US (National Academy of Engineering; IEEE Spectrum Online) and Italy (Bassetti Foundation). Important interactions among subsets of these participants around RI already exist; VIRI would extend such collaborations and create new ones.
Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/17


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $498,452.00


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