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RRI in the UK, Post Brexit – Workshop Report

Executive Summary

On 23.09.2016 a workshop on “Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the UK: the post BREXIT future?” was held at UCL in London. The workshop was jointly organised by the RRI-TOOLS and Responsible-Industry project and attracted 45 participants. Following two keynote presentations by Richard Owen and Melanie Smallman the participants undertook group work concerning the origin and implications of Brexit for RRI and vice versa. The event ended with an open space technology session and plenary discussion.

Key Themes

  • Brexit has highlighted social divides in the UK; academia has to ask what its influence and role should be.
  • Brexit demonstrates the importance of social and ethical issues in today’s neoliberal societies. This highlights that there is now a higher demand for RRI than ever.
  • RRI has an important political component and RRI researchers need to consider their political role.
  • Brexit will raise issues around funding of RRI research, as the EU is the biggest funder in the area. The interdisciplinary nature of much RRI research also makes it more difficult to gain funding from RCUK and other sources.
  • The EU’s specific policy agendas linked to RRI (open access, gender equality, science education,…) form an important part of RRI. However, Brexit will allow for a broader and more academic discourse of the term in the UK.
  • The impact of RRI beyond the research community is currently limited. The concept is still open and discussed and can take different meanings for different groups.
  • There is a significant community of people interested in RRI. At present this community is not well defined and very much project based.

Actions

  • Promote RRI on the policy and research funding level
    It is important to highlight to policymakers that RRI has a key role to play. In the light of reduced European leadership, UK policy has to adopt RRI as a policy goal and promote it.

    • Highlight RRI in specific policy concerns, e.g. as part of the remit of the UK Research and Innovation interim chair (this was done following the workshop, see link here).
    • Demonstrate the importance of engaging various publics in research and innovation.
    • Develop an RRI policy framework to move beyond current project-focused work.
  • Establish a recognisable RRI community in the UK
    Such a recognisable community will help promote RRI on the policy and funding level. It will lend credibility to RRI-related activities and be a place for scholarly debate about RRI and the body of knowledge that is developed under this heading. Ways of achieving this may include:

    • Launch a recognised RRI UK conference (series).
    • Establish sustainable structures and institutions around RRI: This could include something like a learned society for RRI in the UK (and could be the organising body for the conference series).
    • Links with the RRI communities in the rest of Europe and in other parts of the world will need to be maintained.
    • Identify RRI opportunities in our fast-changing social, political and technical environment.
  • Raise level of awareness of RRI in other scientific and social areas
    • Highlight RRI in scientific debates, e.g. with other scientific bodies such as the Royal Society, British Academy etc.
    • Engage with the media, in particular in headline-grabbing cases.
    • Provide clear evidence of the shape and relevance of RRI.
      • Establish and maintain a sustainable knowledge base of RRI
      • Develop and make available good practice cases and examples
    • Undertake further research on important aspects and components of RRI, including:
      • The content and definition of the concept itself, its role in a changing socio-political environment.
      • Conditions and principles of implementation of RRI in different types of context (e.g. in industry, different technologies, profit v not-for-profit).
      • International aspects of RRI, notably the relationship between the Global North (GN) and Global South (GS).

Workshop Report

This section provides brief accounts of the activities of the workshop, main insights and recommendations as well as possible ways forward.

The relevance of Brexit to RRI in the UK and beyond – Richard Owen, University of Exeter

  • Catalyst for thought
  • What does Brexit say about case/rationale for RRI
    • What does Brexit say about innovation
  • RRI as concept distinctly European
    • When we leave EU, should we leave RRI too?
    • How strong will voice be relative to colleagues in EU
  • EU most important source of funding for RRI
    • What happens to RRI community and European dispora

In June many from Uni sector did not want and did not expect – Brexit does not change global outlook

  • Saw protest from those caught on wrong side of social divide, incl. Unis

Process of innovation

  • Ex-coal mining communities in South Wales – children given up on future
    • Little faith in science and tech, distrust
  • 4 dimensions for process of science and innovation
    • Systemic change needed
  • Inclusion
  • Reflexivity
    • Governance of financial innovation in large financial asset management
    • Very well structure processes of innovation – little space for challenging norms of finance
    • Innovation tied to political economy of free markets, social…
    • What counts is winning
    • Opening up is only ok, if it is within the rules of the game

Make RI more inclusive

  • What kinds do we want to lead to more equitable society

Does leaving EU mean leaving RRI?

  • EU main funder
  • Political support for RRI post Brexit – in or out how best to address this (incl. from ESRC/EPSRC)

Still issues and tensions – political will to ensure RRI continues to thrive in academic circles and also in practice

RRI Tools and the UK post-Brexit – Melanie Smallman, UCL

Relevance of RRI to Brexit and Challenges ahead.

  1. Disconnect between public and ‘elite’ perspectives on how science works and what it can do (based on my research)
    1. ‘Elite’ view of ‘Science to the Rescue’ in which s&t creates jobs and wealth. Social and ethical issues can be dealt with separately.
    2. Public imaginary of ‘contingent progress’ in which s&t does good, but brings inherent problems too,

These present very different ways of dealing with risk and uncertainty, very different ways of dealing with social and ethical issues and very different understandings of role of industry and profit.

In policy terms, public perspectives misheard as ignorance or resistance and the machinery of policymaking finds it difficult to accommodate these views.

Therefore, it should be unsurprising when people didn’t expect their Brexit vote to count.

  1. The reality of the world created with science and technology looks very different depending on who/where you are
  • Uber offers cheap transport for taxi users and well paid jobs for educated men, but is driving down pay for taxi drivers and crowding out small businesses
  • The internet has transformed businesses but enabled ‘stateless profit’ against a backdrop of ‘unaffordable’ public services being cut.

Need to find ways for accounting for spread of benefits in ideas around RRI

  1. Challenges for RRI
  • How do we take public perspectives into account in a meaningful way?
  • How do we account for the shape of the economy in concepts of responsibility?
  • How do we get scientists and policymakers to understand the importance of these issues?
  • How do we ensure RRI isn’t seen as a luxury when science funding being cut?
  • How do we do any of this in the context of science as a driver of the economy?

Breakout groups: Causes and consequences of Brexit

The breakout groups were given the following instructions:

  • In what way does Brexit raise the profile of RRI?
  • Where does the UK RRI community stand now?
  • Which opportunities should the UK RRI community pursue? Suggest practical actions, who, what, when, how?

Group 1

In what way does Brexit raise the profile for RRI?

  • There is an opportunity to drop the focus on EU funding and start looking at how the UK RRI community can be effective.
  • It will open other larger funding streams on RRI issues, for example, the US.
  • There is less hope that the government will support RRI and there is a chance that the public might lose focus on RRI.
  • RRI might be affected since Brexit happened at the time when the idea was being introduced to the UK.
  • Brexit gives the opportunity to rebrand RRI for the UK.
  • The business, academic and other sectors will implement RRI in different ways according to how they understand it. This is the case in other countries where RRI is looked at from different angles e.g. Germany from a chemical technology angle and the US from a Nanotechnology perspective.

Where does the UK RRI community stand now?

  • There is an RRI framework that is being used by different groups.
  • RRI has not made a lot of impact regardless of publications and research that has been carried out. For example, there is not enough credible cases or case studies yet.
  • The community is still struggling to find a way of how to value RRI, for example, there are still questions on the instrumental and economic value of RRI.
  • There are still issues with mentioning RRI. This is just a brand given by a previous commissioner. The new commissioner is now calling a similar thing 3 ‘Os’ (open innovation, open science, open to the world).

What opportunities should RRI UK pursue?

  • Rebranding RRI to a UK related name.
  • UK can be a leading expert and capitalise on the knowledge, structures, and expertise that exists in UK which other EU countries do not have e.g. training and established boards.
  • Expand in policy framing on responsibility issues (RRI).
  • Develop strategies for achieving what responsibility is and capitalise on it and increase impact.

Group 2

Group 2 was comprised entirely of non-academics so we focused on the last question which the group felt it was more qualified to answer:

  • Which opportunities should the UK RRI community pursue? Suggest practical actions, who, what, when, how?

Brexit offers an opportunity to 1] raise the profile of RRI 2] bridge the society/expert divide highlighted by Brexit and 3] avoid heavy economic losses such as those experienced by VW and BP.

All group members felt RRI has a low profile in the UK at present.

The UK approach to RRI is not as broad or as bold as the EU’s approach. The group questioned whether the EU approach had worked as it had intended. It was felt that a UK approach would be possible and stronger.

There was some discussion about what is distinct about RRI and a sense that it’s character needs to be defined in order to capitalise on opportunities. RRI was compared to:

  • CSR
  • Patient involvement
  • Public engagement
  • Research integrity
  • Sustainability

RRI was thought to overlap with each but that it still has something distinct to offer.

The group argued it was the academy’s responsibility to ‘drive the RRI discourse’.

Some members (EPSRC) felt RRI was rather negative and that there was a need for the academy to reflect on the benefits of technology and therefore use RRI is a more positive way.

Others in the group (regional government) felt that RRI was a useful tool to ‘bring the public along’ with technology.

If RRI is to have traction in the UK, it needs to:

  • Have a common language
  • Move from research to practice
  • Provide case studies of success

The group critically discussed public engagement and felt that it was not being done well or was superficial at best. Two reasons were offered for the lack of public involvement in decisions concerning technology:

  • One-way engagement (education/outreach) is the norm and it’s very hard to do anything different.
  • Government departments (ie BIS) often don’t engage because they don’t want to know the answer.

These two reasons present real challenges for RRI.

However, emerging technologies such as genomics brought with them very real issues of public concern and RRI was seen as a possible way to bridge expert/society relationship and allow public voices to be heard.

The GCRF presented a key opportunity for RRI. We had quite a lot of discussion about the GCRF and there was considerable support for an RRI approach in this UK funding scheme. Those with experience in working with global south countries felt RRI would be widely supported.

The group also discussed the concept of ‘publics’ and felt there was an opportunity for RRI to think more broadly about publics and how to engage. One example was through partnerships (the example we focused on was a partnership with regional government). Some in the group thought it would be better to focus on ‘disinterested publics’ while others saw benefits in identifying interested and mobilised publics and partnerships.

Group 3

In what way does Brexit raise the profile of RRI?

  • This group felt that Brexit has focussed the spotlight on its political nature and the political economy in which it sits and as such should be seen as a political issue.
  • It also means that Universities are more competitive particularly when it comes to picking the pockets of donors.
  • It has also raised the question of what it means for different stakeholders e.g. Academics, CSOs, Industry, Policy-makers and the importance or non-importance that the stakeholders might give to RRI. As such, understanding importance attached to RRI becomes essential especially in realising its eventual sustainability and take-up. It was therefore felt that constant nudges here and there, i.e. putting the word out of the importance of RRI is important for continued funding and buy-in for not only funders but other stakeholders. This hinges on a more coherent understanding of what RRI is and why it is important.
  • The group also felt that RRI raises questions of deliberative democracy and power. For example, although RRI might be strong in aspects of inclusion where different stakeholders engage in a process, someone still has to make decisions which leaves entities making decisions having power over those who do not.
  • The group agreed that despite the uncertainties, Brexit offers an opportunity for the UK to adopt and tailor the principles of RRI to needs specific to the country.

Where does the UK RRI community stand now?

  • The group agreed that the situation was worrying in terms of funding and that beyond the present funding scheme, RRI might just crumble
  • That RRI does not seem to have no real high profile
  • That there are no real ‘noises’ coming from the UK political elite
  • That different pillars/frameworks/definitions of RRI make it difficult to have a coherent message which might have a negative impact on its buy-in and sustainability

Despite the above ambivalence, the group came to the conclusion that perhaps there are OPPORTUNITIES on offer when the following is taken into consideration:

  • Framing a more coherent RRI in the UK
  • Possibly re-naming of RRI to reflect the values that the UK are good at or attach meaning to
  • A re-consideration of what the relationship may be between science and society

Group 4

In what way does Brexit raise the profile of RRI?

The question raised in the group was whether Brexit actually did raise the profile of RRI. We talked about the risk of it lowering the profile of RRI because there would be less funding. We talked about how the reduced funding could be used as a tool for creating a debate about the question “with less money, what is the most responsible way to do research and innovation?” We also talked about communication having to be rethought, that the problems in society will persist with or without Brexit, which means that RRI still holds a role in the UK after Brexit.

o   Maybe for those already interested in RRI

o   Due to less funding, it would raise the question “With less money what is the most responsible way to do research and innovation”?

o   It raises the awareness of the divide in the UK

o   It could raise the focus on impact

o   It forces us to look back at what the research was supposed to do

o   It lowers the profile of RRI because the research agenda is lowered in priority

o   We need to do more, because during the Brexit campaign we were not listened to

o   RRI can be the tool to connect with the citizens that felt disconnected with research communities

o   We should focus on good quality of research and use Brexit to push for better research

o   Communication needs to be rethought

o   The problems in society will persist, the term used to work on these problems is not so important.

Where does the UK RRI community stand now?

We talked about the community being more fragile, and that institutional support is required to ensure that it does not fall apart. We also talked about the UK part of RRI in EU were still regarded as valuable and that this would still be the case even after Brexit.

o   More fragile

o   Institutional support is required

o   There needs to be a process of looking for other partners than the EU

o   EU RRI is still regarding the UK part of RRI work highly

Which opportunities should the UK RRI community pursue? Suggest practical actions, who, what, when, how?

o   View it as a profile raising opportunity

o   Public engagement should be increased

o   UCL work with royal society meeting

o   Need to create highlight events

o   Change communication so we talk with people instead of to people

o   RI needs to get into trade unions conferences

o   Everyone involved in RRI need to rethink their communication

  • What do we want them (the public) to know?
  • How do we manage to do so?

o   Highlight tensions of the drive for economic growth and benefits for society

o   Ongoing conversation throughout the process

Group 5

In what way does Brexit raise the profile of RRI?

Opportunity – to see things from the other people’s perspective

  • Listening has gone wrong, just need to explain the science better
  • News and media is about so-called post-fact headline grabbing instances <- gets the narrative to be around what you want it to be
    • So how to deal with this – combat headlines <- not trying to get people to do science based on what is in their head
    • Move beyond perspective of non-scientific views
  • Focus of lot of RRI issues has been at project level – but interesting stuff is at higher level
    • Are we doing the right thing, just focus at the manageable level, but should we be doing this, whereas there is a bigger picture
    • At economic level, race, urgency, and someone else will do it and less ethical than us
    • Public talk of ‘out of control trains’ <- de-escalation
  • Raise profile within research community, or outside of that
    • Communicate research
    • Situation where could raise the profile
    • Tell story of why Brexit has technology element
    • Assumption that just need to communicate better
  • Gove question about experts
    • How to establish credentials in the public
    • Trust in experts literature – world is being experienced in such a different way, and how does it relate to everyday experiences
    • Objective seekers of truth have become the lobbyists
    • Are the public trusted enough to make decisions

UK RRI community

  • Is there such as thing?
  • Is it just an EU RRI community
  • Will this decision force us to come together more as a RRI community
  • Is there a UK RRI conference (was one in the Netherlands)
    • For RRI tools, was trying to build an RRI community of practice – started to get people to meet and talk
    • Should there be a conference/learned society
  • Change in HEFCE, evidence to science & technology parliamentary committee on role and priorities on UKRI interim chair (UK research and innovation) <- multidisciplinary research seen as important
    • In European, RRI is seen as cross-cutting disciplines
    • Might be that UK RRI wants to replicate this viewpoint
    • Higher principles too
    • Opportunity to create a distinctive UK RRI opportunity
      • Keys, include governance, but does this belong (6 pillars)
    • Orbit, a good way to bring people together

Which opportunities for UK RRI community

  • Everything moving at moment
  • Meeting with MEPs, from govt ministers about Brexit – if we lose all of the research funding in order to get free movement, then ok
  • Re-distribution of research funding?
  • European campuses from UK Unis planned?
  • If science funding is going to get squeezed, so how do we make sure that this is not seen as a luxury <- not just science at a bench
    • Relatively small amount of money in comparison
    • Sciencewise massively reduced from last round
  • A way to talk about it that does not imply researchers are bad
    • Get them to find list of opportunities
      • Doing better research, doing more research in society, better careers
    • In practice:
      • Written submission to the UKRI select committee?
    • Where does RRI being and end
      • Does it apply to RRI projects?
      • Does it apply to individuals as well?
      • Complexity told through a ‘story’, include the affective and the experiential <- but who is the public that is going to read this and how are you going to get it out to them
        • Where do we get those accounts that show what RRI does and does not do
        • How does that responsibly influence policy
      • What does RRI in action look like
        • Ethics & research integrity
          • Nuts and bolts of what to do or not
          • Research ethics as a way into RRI
        • RRI image problem
          • Seen as compliance, a nuisance seen as a ‘fad’ that will go away with Brexit
          • What do people see as/understand as RRI
          • Where positivist view of science as solving the problems of the world, but don’t see the relevance of understanding implications

Open Space Technology Session

The final session of the day was an Open Space Technology one where participants were given the opportunity to set the agenda of discussion. Proposers of topics were asked to summarise the key outcomes of these different groups that emerged.

RRI and the Global South

This group was themed around the perceived divide between those in the Global North (GN), which used to be called the developed countries, and those in the Global South (GS), which used to be called the developing countries. The key issue is whether RRI can cope with local sensibilities while also acknowledging global implications. For example, what might be seen as legitimate and okay to do in one part of the world might be seen very differently in another part of the world (HSBC had a very successful series of adverts along these lines, about understanding local custom and practice, while operating in a global market).

The discussion covered the idea that there are implications of differing technologies and differing viewpoints. A key point made was the need to engage with local communities and stakeholders and the need to really listen to them. It was suggested that RRI might be a way to ‘level’ the range of voices and enable more/everyone to be heard, ie. not just the loudest or the most ‘powerful’. The emphasis was on engagement and how to gain consent, whether from an individual or from a whole village, but always in search of knowledge, about the local context and what is important there. However, it was pointed out that this takes effort, in that you need to seek out and find the ‘right people’.

Another question raised was the differences in the context for GN and GS and whether methods/techniques for RRI from GN work in the GS? Equally, it was asked whether anything could be learned when looking at the technologies developed and being used in the GS, in terms of the GN?

The conversation turned to how to engage with communities, and the idea of co-creation with the GS was raised. This was also linked to the need to better train leaders and develop leadership capabilities in the GS, which was linked to the need for funding to enable capacity building to take place. In other words, there needs to be the opportunity for people in the GS to be able to acquire leadership skills, such that communities can be enabled to engage in co-creation, and that takes resources which needs funding. It was also noted that this can be turned around the other way, and there is a need for re-inserting co-creation back into the GN too.

One of the issues that was of concern too, was that of preventing ‘ethics dumping’, in other words saying that ethics is not so important in some areas of GS. Actually, is was noted that GS is keen to invest in science and technology (possibly as a way to aid development). Currently there is a flow of raw materials out of GS (mainly to satisfy the voracious appetite of the GN for consumer goods, etc.), but how long can this last? However, there is a strongly political context for this, which can be difficult to understand. Finally the concept of ‘lifecycle assessment’ was mentioned, and that we need to be thinking in a wider sense about all of this, more from a ‘whole life’ perspective (cf. ‘circular economy’, although that term was strongly disliked by some people).

RRI in Profit and Non-Profit Environments

The discussion in this group mainly centred on the question of whether RRI is and/or should be seen as being applied differently between profit and non-profit environments and what this might mean for future funding post-Brexit. The group came to the realisation that RRI needs to be meaningful for different groups particularly as it appears it have competing and somewhat different meanings due to its cross-cutting nature. Due to this, it is evident that RRI contributes different things to different value systems. In essence, what should be clear is what is the added value for different groups and why should they take up RRI especially when there are similar other concepts being used such as Corporate Social Responsible (CSR). On this, it was suggested that while some entities such as corporations may use and apply CSR principles to their business, this may not always be for a desire to be socially responsible to society but rather to ensure that business has a smooth passage and is easily acceptable in society.

As such, RRI may potentially differ in this respect because it makes different stakeholders think outside of things they may normally do – it offers stakeholders an opportunity to reflect. For example, while it may be the norm for technology developers to develop technologies and expect the technologies to be taken up by users, the application of RRI to the process of technology development can ensure that developers not only develop the technologies but engage users in discussing how they feel the technologies might affect them either in a positive or negative way. That way, ethical concerns can be discussed and factored in the development and implementation process.

The conclusion was therefore reached that it was important to clarify the different impacts that RRI might have for different environments, profit and non-profit included. Such clarify can make it easier to put a much more robust case before policy makers and funders in order to access funding. Furthermore, clarity of impacts may offer an opportunity to break away from what a lot of Brexit voters see as stringent EU regulations which every member must adhere to, to then rebrand and interpret the term differently with focus on RRI specific to the UK.

Public Engagement

  • There is a need for more action than just saying… JUST DO IT! No need to talk to the public about RRI as an abstract thing.
  • RRI should be embedded at an earlier stage e.g. introducing the underlying ideas in schools.
  • Explain and give examples of RRI in action e.g. WAM (Wearable Assistive Materials project )at UCL which was a project that engaged people with disabilities on how to design mobility technology.
  • Openly allowing different viewpoints about innovation that is taking place.
  • Look at opportunities for engaging the public e.g. public lectures and workshops.
  • Ensure that there is a feedback loop between those that are involved in research and innovation and the public.
  • Remind people that there are consequences if they do not apply RRI.

 

Branding and the Future of RRI

Final Discussion

The workshop ended with a final discussion and a tour de table giving everybody the chance to highlight their key insights.

Final comments

  • Communication is a 2 way process
  • We have community in the UK we need to develop
  • There is a general sense of “ we will no longer have access to horizon 2020 funding”, even though we are being assured that we will
  • There are real opportunities for the UK to capitalise on RRI
  • I’m extremely pleased with how the RRI community has grown or at least sustained
  • I think there might be strengths to bringing back the RRI to a UK focus
  • Projects are good, but we need to look at the bigger picture
  • Brexit could be an opportunity
  • For the UK to establish global cooperation
  • RRI is connecting the things and there is a big gap that we need to fill
  • There are momentum for RRI in the UK
  • RRI is an opportunity
  • I’ve been struck by the different opinions and perspectives, and the amount of work left to be done
  • There are concerns for continue our funding, but with concerns there are still opportunities, especially if communication is clear to funders
  • RRI isn’t an distinctive European thing
  • I felt alone in my discipline, but it was nice to have shared values
  • Build a case for RRI, Embed RRI in all research activities, look at global opportunities
  • There are already people out there doing “RRI” we need to find them
  • RRI can help inform the debates and come up with an idea of how this fits society
  • Reinforce the role local government has in RRI
  • RRI needs to be embedded into the creative process
  • While working on all these concepts, don’t forget to do
  • There is still a future for RRI by looking at global opportunities
  • I am going to keep doing this stuff, either way, whether they call it something else
  • The diversity in people doing RRI, the diversity of discipline raises further questions for me, implementing RRI into research and innovation
  • I am no clearer after today, but it is clearly worth doing. Where are the arts researchers?
  • We need to think about an institutional RRI, an umbrella we can be working under
  • There is a general sense of that we’ll no longer have access to H2020 funds.
  • There is a real opportunity to capitalise on the leadership we got.
  • Sustain community momentum.
  • Focus the issue of RRI back to the UK.
  • What can my role add to RRI and how can RRI affect my role?
  • Look at a bigger context.
  • Brexit could be an opportunity.
  • Connecting the abstract picture of the world we want. Future and present
  • There is an opportunity.
  • Feeling gaps.
  • There are concerns about funding but there is an opportunity if it’s clear with funders.
  • RRI is not distinctively an EU thing.
  • Embed RRI in all activities.
  • See how the UK could fit in other markets.
  • Identify people doing similar research e.g. CSR.
  • There is concern about the idea of RRI as an agreed idea across society.
  • Reinforcing the local government role in RRI.
  • Embedding RRI subtly.
  • Add to definition of RRI – Act as well!
  • Not clear what is the impact of Brexit on RRI. What should we be doing? It is a nuisance to change the term. Still going to use RRI with or without funding.
  • There’s diversity of people doing RRI although it raises further questions about integrating RRI into research and innovation and translate into fixed jobs in institutions.
  • No idea where RRI is at. Where are other researchers e.g. arts and social researchers?
  • It would be nice if we had an umbrella body to fall under and I hope ORBIT will facilitate that.
  • There are other funding streams outside the EU.
  • Less talking about “RRI”, more responsible research and innovation! Get out there and engage with the public.

Appendix 1: Invitation

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rri-in-the-uk-the-post-brexit-future-tickets-27048924060

 

DESCRIPTION

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the UK: the post BREXIT future? Workshop

We would like to invite you to a day workshop to discuss the current state of responsible research and innovation in the UK, and where the research field might head next. We are looking to develop a strategy/roadmap, which enables all UK academics working in this field to feel that there is a way forward. Therefore, we envisage that this will be an open and interactive discussion, that will allow participants to co-design the agenda and therefore the outcomes.

Venue

University College London (UCL)

Who Should Attend?

  • People doing research directly on and with RRI
  • Researchers interested in topics connected to RRI
  • Research funders and policy makers who recognise the significance of RRI

Why you should attend

  • Contribute to the building of an RRI community in the UK
  • Contribute to the discussion over the future of RRI funding in the UK
  • Shape the future strategy for research policy in RRI
  • Develop strategies to embed the UK RRI community within the wider global context

Therefore, in this workshop we ask you to join us with the aim to discuss 2 fundamental questions:

  • Where next for RRI research and funding, post-Brexit and the proposed exit from the European frameworks?
  • What, as a network of RRI interested organisations in the UK, can we do together to shape the RRI landscape, in particular over the next 2 to 5 years?

Agenda

09.45-10.15 Registration & coffee (note later start time)

10.15-10.30 Welcome

10.30-10.50 Keynote 1: The relevance of Brexit to RRI in the UK and beyond – Richard Owen, University of Exeter

10.50-11.10 Keynote 2: RRI Tools and the UK post-Brexit – Melanie Smallman, UCL

11.10-11.30 Questions and answers for both keynote presentations

11:30-13:00 Breakout groups: Causes and consequences of Brexit

13.00-14.00 Buffet lunch

14.00-15.30 Open Space session: ideas for future action

15.30-16.00 Plenary & way forward

16.00 End

This event is jointly organised by the STS Department of UCL and the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility of De Montfort University. It is supported by the RRI-Tools and Responsible-Industry projects.

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Bernd Carsten Stahl is Professor of Critical Research in Technology and Director the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. His interests cover philosophical issues arising from the intersections of business, technology, and information. This includes ethical questions of current and emerging of ICTs, critical approaches to information systems and issues related to responsible research and innovation.

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