Responsible research and innovation

Authored by: Ulrike Felt

Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138211957
eBook ISBN: 9781315451695
Adobe ISBN:


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When the notion of responsible research and innovation (RRI) gradually arose in the arenas of European and national-level policy around 2010, it had not emerged ex nihilo. As numerous analysts have pointed out, RRI can be seen as yet another buzzword in a row of pre-existing concepts addressing the relation between technoscientific and societal developments (Rip, 2014, Guston and Stilgoe, 2017, Hilgartner et al., 2017). Its most important predecessors were the programs supporting the study of Ethical, legal and social implications/aspects (ELSI for the US and ELSA for Europe) of scientific and technological developments. ELSI programs were launched in connection with the Human Genome Project in the United States, with the idea to reflect upon potential societal impacts through complementary research and public deliberation on the uses of new knowledge. Taken over and adapted to the European context, ELSA research became an integral part of the European Commission’s Research Framework Programs from 1994 onwards as well as in many national funding programs – particularly in the field of the life sciences (Zwart and Nelis, 2009, Hilgartner et al., 2017).

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