Across the globe, research, development, and innovation (RDI) processes are operating at increasingly accelerated paces, promising rapid development and higher standards of living, but also increasing the likelihood of unintended, socially undesirable effects that inevitably attend progress. The notion of responsible research and innovation (RRI) has emerged in response to this dilemma, and the integration of RRI into daily RDI practices itself represents a considerable challenge. Integrating RRI concepts and practices at an early or even pre-career stage, before researchers fully develop their daily routines, could strengthen the assimilation of RRI into RDI more generally. Thus, in line with the emphasis of RRI on science education, how to integrate RRI aspects in the thinking of researchers-in-the-making before they start their active research carrier is an important but under-investigated question. In addition, the special features of Generation Z currently being in higher education suggest the use nontraditional tools in science education. Accordingly, this exploratory study asks how the RRI-awareness of researchers-in-the-making can be raised. We adapt the Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR) method, which facilitates reflection on societal aspects during scientific research practices and decisions, to the context of science education. We test the introduction of STIR among researchers-in-the-making studying natural sciences at the University of Szeged (Hungary). Our findings suggest potential steps for science education on RRI with attention to the special needs Generation Z and facilitating their RRI awareness for their active researcher career.
- Generation Z
- Responsible research and innovation
- Science education
- Socio-Technical Integration Research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics and Econometrics