The notion of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has increasingly attracted attention in the academic literature. Up until now, however, the literature has focused on clarifying the principles for which research and innovation are responsible and on examining the conditions that account for managing them responsibly. Little attention has been reserved to exploring the political-economic context in which the notion of RRI has become progressively more prominent. This article tries to address this aspect and suggests some preliminary considerations on the connections between the specific understanding of responsibility in RRI and the framing of responsibility in what has been synthetically defined as ‘neoliberalism’. To do so, we try to illustrate how the idea of responsibility has evolved over time so that the specific characteristics of RRI can be better highlighted. These characteristics will then be discussed against the features of neoliberalism and its understanding of responsibility. Eventually, we reaffirm a view of RRI centred on fundamental rights as a possible point of departure between these two perspectives on responsibility.
The article investigates the sociocultural implications of the changing modern workplace and of pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) as a potential adaptive tool from the viewpoint of social niche construction. We will attempt to elucidate some of the sociocultural and technological trends that drive and influence the characteristics of this specific niche, and especially to identify the kind of capabilities and adaptations that are being promoted, and to ascertain the capabilities and potentialities that might become diminished as a result. In this context, we will examine what PCE is, and how and why it might be desirable as a tool for adaptation within the workplace. As human beings are, or at least should be allowed to be, more than merely productive, able-bodied and able-minded workers, we will further examine how adaptation to the workplace niche could result in problems in other domains of modern societal life that require the same or other cognitive capabilities. In this context we will also focus on the concept of responsibility and how it pertains to PCE and the modern workplace niche. This will shed some light on the kind of trends related to workplace niche construction, PCE and capability promotion that we can expect in the future, and on the contexts in which this might be either beneficial or detrimental to the individual as a well-rounded human being, and to other members of society.
Innovation can be conceived of as 'collective experimentation', and industry can be viewed as a full partner in heterogeneous innovation networks. The significance of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) depends on the possibility of aligning the diverse actors involved in innovation processes, including firms. A specific challenge in Italy is that the overall majority of industrial companies are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). By reporting the opinions of the participants in an Italian stakeholder workshop, this article suggests that intermediation processes and intermediary agents have an important influence on the uptake of RRI in SMEs.
RESUMEN: Después de revisar algunas de las iniciativas más relevantes de regulación suave en el campo de lo nano y de examinar algunos de los factores más relevantes que explican el reciente rol de la regulación suave en la gobernanza nanotecnológica, el presente trabajo explora las representaciones mutuas de los stakeholders italianos sobre la nanotecnología para mostrar cómo las consideraciones acerca de la identidad (percibida), en términos de motivaciones y roles en los procesos de regulación y comportamientos esperados en los actores sociales que están involucrados en el desarrollo de la nanotecnología, entran en los razonamientos de los actores para justificar la elección, apoyo o desecho de diferentes soluciones e instrumentos regulatorios, dígase la alternativa entre regulaciones suaves y regulaciones mandatorias.
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the longest-running European instruments supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe. COST is an intergovernmental framework composed of 35 countries, allowing the coordination of research that is otherwise funded on a European level, through the provision of platforms for European scientists to cooperate on a particular project and exchange expertise. As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST contributes to reducing the fragmentation in European research investments and to opening the European Research Area to cooperation worldwide. It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a ‘bridge’ towards the scientific communities of emerging countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe, fostering the establishment of scientific excellence (see www.cost.esf.org). COST Foresight 2030 was an initiative designed to explore a broadly-shared vision for a future world beyond 2030, permeated and shaped by the digital revolution. It consisted of a set of events presenting long-term perspectives in the selected fields – Information and Communication Technologies/Computer and Communication Sciences and Technologies (ICT/CCST), Energy, Food Security, Natural Resources Management, Life Enhancement and Society – which play fundamental roles in human life and which are envisaged to be highly influenced by ICT/CCST-enabling technologies. The workshop ‘Living the Digital Revolution: The European Society in 2030’, the concluding one of the six workshops of the initiative, gathered 20 distinguished scholars and experts from Europe and beyond (AU, NZ, US) for an exploratory brainstorming session. Representing various fields in the social sciences and humanities, such as sociology, education and learning, future studies, law and ethics, economics and business, demography and ICT, the experts focused on the possible trajectories of European societies with regard to the accelerating advancements in ICT/CCST leading up to 2030.
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