About the “Reflective Catalogue”, the “Reflective Review Cafe” & more

About the “Reflective Catalogue”, the
“Reflective Review Café & more!

The implementation of RRI concepts into scientific institutions affords ways to integrate these concepts into existing institutional structures, teaching contents and scientific perspectives. Therefore, the Uni Bremen team developed a series of reflective activities for scientists on varying career levels, PhD students and pupils visiting the outreach lab “Backstage Science” (BaSci Lab).

To reach scientists and PhD students in dialogue regarding science ethics an open form of group discussion was tested. Prior to the workshop, the participants were asked to formulate ethical issues, problems or observations from their personal perspectives. The moderator also brought a few typical questions and scenarios in case of lacking input from the participants. The content discussed was very diverse and interesting: From unethical conduct and the consequences for scientists, workgroups and the scientific community to the contrast between “black and white” ethics and the “grey area” of real actions. Due to the topics having originated from the participants themselves, the discussions were very intense and the varying career levels from PhD student to professor enriched the situation with fresh views and first hand experiences.

Science projects often are publicly funded and/or focus on issues of societal relevance. Consequently, scientists are obligated to communicate about their project approach, methods and findings with societal interest groups or even engage certain stakeholder groups in the project shaping and process. To effectively communicate with public groups, scientists need to consider certain factors: The target group of the information, for example, determines the language and platform of communication, and certain aspects of the scientific issue may have more interesting value for non-scientists than others. With our developed “Reflective catalogue” for public engagement scientists can – with the help of guiding questions – investigate their target group(s) and resulting communication strategies as well as aspects of their research interesting to their target group. During testing, the cases of basal research stepped out: Here, it is more difficult to connect the research to relevant societal topics and it may become dangerous to overstate the meaning of a certain finding for concrete application. But there is also the great chance to show future possibilities, if dealt with cautiously.

For pupils visiting the BaSci lab we developed the “Reflective Reviewing Café” (RC) with the goal to improve the students’ understanding of science, which may enable them to responsibly participate in future science-related decision making. The RC is based on the world café method and also consists of different tables with meaningful and interesting guiding questions. In groups of six to eight persons plus moderators the students discuss their conducted research in the outreach lab and general aspects of science close to the lab research. “What did you do in your experiments? And why?” asks for the scientific processes and the underlying reasons for scientific methods as we know them. About personal, cultural and other influences on research and its findings the students discuss the question “How subjectively influenced can scientific knowledge be?”. This question can reveal very deep insights into science as well as very strong resistance against the idea of anything influencing scientific knowledge. “What are the goals of scientific endeavor?” offers the basis for discussion about ethical issues, progress and societal impacts of scientific endeavors.

The reflective activity approach proved to be very useful for various applications, in different contexts and diverse groups. Reflective questions can be adapted to every concrete scenario and, as seen in example 1, even be given by the participants themselves. But it is very important to create a space of trust and faith without hierarchical bandages or the possibility of negative consequences. Then nothing stands in the way of relaxed and fruitful discussions leading to new insights for all who participate.

by Doris Elster, University of Bremen

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ResBios Open Dialogues: A Webinar about Science communication with a gender perspective, what does this really mean?

ResBios Open Dialogues
Science communication with a Gender
Perspective: what does this really mean? A closer look into biosciences

Mentoring, role models, networking, gender-inclusive programmes, are all measures that have been put in practice to foster and support the presence, inclusion and career development of women in science and technology. For the last 20 years, we have been moving and achieving milestones regarding women in science, gender equality, gender biases, and lately, gendered innovation.

But, what do we communicate when we communicate science? How do we do it and where? Whom are we addressing? Isn’t the system the reason and consequence of inequities? How do we communicate this and moreover, what can science communication do to tackle these deficiencies and encourage inclusion for the greater good?

In a social endeavour as science, considered as based on merits, competences and creativity, it’s imperative to reflect, talk and take action in order to tackle the equality distortions and injustice. The way we communicate science plays a key role in this.

Save the date: January 28,2021- 15:00-16:30 CET

Register here!: Fill in the form


Helena González and Oriol Marimón, Big Van Ciencia, Barcelona, Spain: Breaking scientific stereotypes in representations through scenic arts

Marianne Achiam, Carmen Fenollosa: What we know so far about communicating STEM with a Gender perspective

Janire Salazar, ICM, Spain: Learnings from the last 5 years of implementing structural changes

Gabriel León, Bioscientist and Science Communicator: Mainstream media science communication with a gender perspective: reflections from the ground

Moderator: Annette Klinkert, EUSEA Executive Director

ResBios is an EU-funded project that thrives for grounding innovative strategies based on the RRI framework.

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In Greece, DUTH University launched its Grounding Action on Education

In Greece, DUTH University launched its Grounding Action on Education

On October 9, 2020, the DUTH core team of the RESBIOS project organized a meeting with the Directorate of Secondary Education Office of Evros and the High School Principals of the Alexandroupolis district.

The meeting took place in accordance with the national health regulations for Covid-19. Associate Professor Dr. Alex Galanis, member of the core team of the RESBIOS at DUTH, presented the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) policy strategy and informed the stakeholders about our plans on Education. Our first grounding action in Education has been launched by inviting school educators to co-design learning activities aiming to introduce school students to the exciting world of Molecular Biology and Genetics and keep school educators up-to date with the scientific advances in the field. More exciting news on this fruitful collaboration are yet to come!

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Triggering RRI-oriented changes in research organizations in the Biosciences

Triggering RRI-oriented changes in research organizations in the Biosciences

The Detailed Design of the Grounding Actions (GAs) foreseen in the RESBIOS project has been recently finalized. They will be implemented by 4 Research Performing Organizations (RPOs) who are going to implement for the first time RRI oriented actions. For this reason, we also define “beginners”. The 15 GAs are aimed at practicing RRI through specific activities focused on one of the 5 RRI keys (Education, Ethics, Gender, Open Access, Public Engagement).

The “beginners” have been assisted in preparing their GAs by the other RESBIOS partners, who already have a specific experience in this field. Such assistance will continue for the rest of the project through many activities, including mutual learning and various forms of mentoring.The 15 GAs are reported below:

With the finalization of the detailed design of the GAs, the preparation phase of RESBIOS (the so-called “co-reflexive strand”) is concluded. It was aimed at promoting a reflection within the RPOs about the needs for the promotion of RRI and about the ways in which the GAs could be better specified. Not just internal actors (other researchers within the RPOs, students, etc.) were involved but also external actors, who will cooperate in different ways to the implementation of the GAs.

The RESBIOS project is now in the implementation phase (the so-called “pro-active strand”) meaning that the focus will be mainly on carrying out the foreseen activities, and on the various related problems and opportunities.

Implementing RRI oriented GAs means triggering a process of change that has to be not only monitored and executed, but also understood and directed. As a matter of fact, the ultimate objective of RESBIOS is to root RRI within Beginners’ RPOs. This is a challenging objective.

Producing RRI oriented change implies the initiation of new practices or the systematization within the organizations of practices that are already implemented informally. Consequently, an effective implementation implies also changing current routines, habitus and worldviews. The “beginners”, while implementing the GAs, will have to take care of the effects they are producing within their organizations and in the relations with the external stakeholders. This is not that easy, since it consists of an interdisciplinary endeavour in which diverse actors, both within the scientific community and outside it, have to cooperate. An effort, therefore, will be requested to produce consensus over the problems to be addressed and on new ways of cooperation among actors which they are not used to. Furthermore, RRI also implies new forms of cooperation among scientists aimed at shaping research and innovation activities so that they are more responsible toward society.

Facing the challenge of change requires cooperation in a self-reflection on the concept of RRI. To facilitate the production of the expected enduring effects within beginners’ organizations, by the mid of the project a further phase will begin. It is named “institutional strand”. All along the project duration, the partners will carry out several Mutual Learning activities aimed at exchanging experiences and point of views. Furthermore, RESBIOS foresees a 16th GA aimed at the creation of a network to support those who want to practice RRI in the Biosciences.

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The ResBios 1st Mutual Learning Workshop

The ResBios 1st Mutual Learning Workshop

The ResBios project aims to root RRI practices in some research organizations in the field of biosciences, through specific Grounding Actions (GAs) aimed at fostering institutional changes. To do that, taken as a whole, ResBios intends to create a mutual learning (ML) environment.

Why the ML is important for the project? Today science as an institution is changing and receives more social pressure. Biosciences are at the core of all that, as one can easily see in this Covid-19 period. RRI is one of the possible ways to have some control – governance – over this change. But putting in practice RRI, and fostering real institutional changes, is a complex problem within a complex context. Today there is growing awareness that complex problems and challenges, where individuals cannot cope, can be better faced by learning all together: discussing, collaborating, exchanging information and knowledge about existing risks and opportunities.

Mutual Learning in ResBios will mainly take place through some types of activities, coordinated by UNITOV: working groups to deep RRI keys and dimensions; formative evaluation activities; annual Mutual Learning Workshops (MLWs), to bridge the different phases of the project.

ML activities foster a participative laboratory, that is a continuous process of action, dialogue, discovery, reflection, learning, re-action and re-learning among partners. ML is also a tool to gradually promote greater awareness of the issues related to the implementation of RRI GAs, empowerment of the ResBios partners, a reflection on the role of the researcher within the relationship between science and society today.

Besides the partners, various Quadruple Helix stakeholders will gradually be involved in this process, in view of the creation of an International Network for Responsible Biosciences, adopting an inter- and trans-disciplinary approach, as possible. The first MLW was organized online on October 26, at the end of a co-design phase, when the GAs have been planned. The aim was to build awareness of RRI institutional change. The core was a general reflection on the RRI approach, adopting a problem-setting spirit: first understand which are the challenges, then cope with!

During the first MLW, a presentation of the 15 Grounding Actions was made by the four implementing partners from Ukraine (IFNUL), Spain (CSIC), Croatia (UNIZG-FAZ) and Greece (DUTH), and a discussion was launched by K&I on some emerging critical themes and issues related to the GAs implementation. The “experienced partners” (that is those who participated in a previous RRI project in the field of biosciences, and for this reason have a role of mentors in ResBios) briefly presented their experience, then coordinated some working groups on relevant topics for the implementation of RRI GAs, that is: team building (UP); mobilization of actors (ABI/UNITOV); communication and visibility of the actions (UBREMEN, in collaboration with EUSEA); networking and relations with Quadruple Helix actors (UG). The role of the partners was discussed and the detailed planning of Mutual Learning activities was also launched.

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Institut de Ciències del Mar launches campaign

Institut de Ciències del Mar launches campaign to foster change towards Gender equality

The Institut de Ciènces del Mar, part of the Spanish Council for Science and Technology, and member of the ResBios Consortium, reinforced their commitment with Gender Equality in Research and Innovation by launching a new online campaign. Follow their feeds and information tips in Twitter #ICMforequality and #committedtogenderring.

They are also part of Life Sciences Community of Practice in Gender, a network that aims to share relevant knowledge, strengthen collaborations and foster the use of Gender Budgeting as a strategic element to broaden awareness and practices against gender-biased policies and actions.
Let´s stay tuned to the activities and news ICM is sharing!

The infographic explains the journey that began in 2007 with the Gender Equality Plan in Scientific Careers.

More information: comms@resbios.eu

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First ResBios meeting in Lviv, Ucraine

First ResBios meeting
in Lviv, Ucraine

Though, a loose connection between research and society may have a wide range of consequences:

The Ivan Franko National University of Lviv team held their first meeting as part of their action plan, leading the Grounding Actions in Education, which are focused in bringing new and innovative practices into Higher Education.

The team led by Olena Stasyk, gathered colleagues Natallia Sybirna , Mariia Nagalievska and Mariya Sabadashka and a representative of a local company, which is interested in taking part of the project, bringing their expertise as a company, and therefore representing the Industry and Economy stakeholder.

The meeting took place at the Ivan Franko University last March 10th and intended to share information and clarifying goals for mutual collaboration. Having one company representative withing the Ucranian ResBios hub will enable to widespread the aims and actions among local potential partners. These actions enable networking, which has a relevant role in the early stages of the project.

Picture: Ivan Franko National University of Lviv team with the delegate representing a key local company.

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12 EU-Countries working together

12 EU-Countries working together for open and engaged research in Biosciences

Research organisations from across Europe kick-off EU-funded project ResBios, that will bring together Responsible Research and Innovation, Sustainable Development Goals and Open Science together in the field of Biosciences.

“We want to turn science affairs into social affairs” Professor Vittorio Colizzi.

With more than 25 representatives from the 12 EU-partners, the ResBios EU-funded project launched its activities in Villa Mondragone, Frascati, Italy, on the 23-24 January.

The EU-funded project is coordinated by the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and four European institutions have been selected for putting RRI into practice between January 2020 until December 2022: Ivan Franko University of Lviv, in Ukraine; Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, Marine Sciences Institute of the National Council of Scientific Research in Spain and the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

These four organizations, supported by other partners having already participated in STARBIOS2 (an EU project about RRI in biosciences), will implement a series of “Grounding Actions” based on key elements of RRI (gender, open access, science education, ethics and governance), the 4 dimensions of RRI (anticipation, reflexivity, inclusiveness, responsiveness), and guided by Sustainable Development Goals.

More information: comms@resbios.eu

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