The UNESCO Interdisciplinary Chair in Biotechnology and Bioethics (2000-2009). An example of Responsible Research and Innovation between Europe and Africa
By Carla Montesano and Vittorio Colizzi
Science education as a trigger for RRI structural change
By Doris Elster, Tanja Barendziak, Julia Birkholz
The history of the scientific enterprise demonstrates that it has supported gender, identity, and racial inequity. Further, its institutions have allowed discrimination, harassment, and personal harm of racialized persons and women. This has resulted in a suboptimal and demographically narrow research and innovation system, a concomitant limited lens on research agendas, and less effective knowledge translation between science and society. We argue that, to reverse this situation, the scientific community must reexamine its values and then collectively embark upon a moonshot-level new agenda for equity. This new agenda should be based upon the foundational value that scientific research and technological innovation should be prefaced upon progress toward a better world for all of society and that the process of how we conduct research is just as important as the results of research. Such an agenda will attract individuals who have been historically excluded from participation in science, but we will need to engage in substantial work to overcome the longstanding obstacles to their full participation. We highlight the need to implement this new agenda via a coordinated systems approach, recognizing the mutually reinforcing feedback dynamics among all science system components and aligning our equity efforts across them.
Jennifer Kuzma and Christopher L. Cummings
Biotech developers are concerned about the future of gene editing having experienced the contentious history of first-generation GM foods. They have also expressed desires to do better with public engagement in gene-editing innovation. The framework of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) may provide a way forward to act on their desires for greater public legitimacy. However, in the United States, -there has also been reluctance to incorporate RRI into biotechnology innovation systems like gene editing in food and agriculture. In this article, we investigate individual- and group-level factors, including demographic, sociographic, and cultural factors, that influence attitudes towards RRI among biotechnology United States stakeholders. Using the Advocacy Coalition Framework’s (ACF) hierarchy of beliefs as a theoretical guide, biotechnology stakeholders (n = 110) were surveyed about their cultural (deep-core) beliefs and then about their attitudes towards principles (policy-core beliefs) and practices (secondary beliefs) of RRI applied to biotechnology innovation. Through statistical analysis of the results, we found significant relationships between stronger egalitarian cultural-beliefs and positive attitudes towards both the principles and practices of RRI. We also found that participants with higher levels of experience held more positive attitudes towards principles of RRI. In contrast, we found a significant inverse relationship between professional affiliation with industry or trade organizations and attitudes towards RRI practices. With these results, we present a model of factors that influence RRI attitudes for future testing. In closing, we interpret the results in the context of ACF to examine the potential for building cross-sector coalitions for practicing RRI within United States gene-editing innovation systems.
Luke Somerwill & Uta Wehn
The effects of citizen science are wide ranging, influencing science, society, the economy, the environment, as well as individual participants. However, in many citizen science projects, impact evaluation is still overly simplistic. This is particularly the case when assessing the impact of participation in citizen science on the environmental attitudes, behaviour and knowledge of citizen scientists. In an attempt to bridge the gap between the state of the art in relevant scientific fields and citizen science, this systematic literature review identified best practices and approaches in the field of environmental psychology for measuring environmental attitudes, behaviour and knowledge. From the literature, five relevant and validated approaches were identified that can be used to measure changes in attitudes, behaviour and knowledge in citizen science projects. This would allow for improved understanding of the impacts of citizen science, as well as for improved project evaluation as a whole.
Silvia Donoso Institut de Ciències del Mar Janire Salazar Institut de Ciències del Mar Gracia Puga Esther Garcés
The Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona has published a Guide for the use of inclusive and non-sexist communication aimed at all the centre's staff. The document, which is part of the actions included in the ICM-CSIC's Gender Equality Plan, provides communication resources, examples and guidelines that address the specific reality and daily activity of the Institute.