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The role of society in science
Insights into responsibility, integrity and stakeholder values

Caitriona MordanDublin City University. Ireland

Co-authors

  • Peter Broks Rhine-Waal University  
  • Heather Doran University of Aberdeen  
  • Yin LinChina Research Instit. for Science Popularization  
  • Shadrack MkansiSouth Africa National Research Foundation  
  • Shadrack MkansiSouth African Agency for Science and Technology a  
  • Padraig Murphy Dublin City University  

Values are an essential part of scientific integrity – values related to producing reliable empirical knowledge (e.g. not fabricating results or manipulating data) and also values related to acceptable social behaviour (e.g. about human experimentation). We have an expectation that scientists should be responsible towards their own research practice as well as responsible to the wider scientific community and society more generally.

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is currently a major focus for European funding. According to the European Commission RRI implies that stakeholders “work together during the whole research and innovation process in order to better align both the process and its outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society”. However, each stakeholder in the scientific process will also have its own set of values, its own ideas of integrity. RRI is not about what each stakeholder group knows in the process. It is about coming together at the start of the process so the values of the stakeholder group are represented - it is not about any stakeholder group conforming in a revolutionary way what they aim to achieve but achieving it in a different way - together. 

NUCLEUS is a four year RRI project funded by the European Commission. This panel will draw on the evidence from the project to examine this issue of integrity. The NUCLEUS Field Trips revealed that stakeholder integrity is an essential component in developing sustainable, resilient relationships. By providing mechanisms to share values/expectations of all societal actors, trust can be built, carving the way for RRI approaches to be embedded systematically in institutions. Panellists will share approaches adopted by 10 institutions to recognise and appreciate stakeholder values, to build trust and carve the way for RRI approaches to be to be embedded systematically in scientific institutions. 

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Category: Roundtable discussion
Theme: Society
Area of interest: Applying science communication research to practice

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