Currently, the role of many Science Communication (SC) professionals is still to transfer the outcomes of Scientific and Technological knowledge development to a larger audience in an understandable way. We advocate that SC professionals can also have an important role during the development of S&T. They could support Socially Responsible Innovation (SRI) by sensitizing S&T actors with public values, based on the same methods that they currently employ to transfer knowledge to a larger audience. This article describes SRI as a ‘wicked problem’ in which SC professionals can play a role to untangle the social complexity in innovation networks. This could safeguard the emergence of innovations that are better attuned to social and political needs, values and opinions, further improving an organisation’s innovative capacity. Based on the notions of knowledge brokering, mediation and nudging, S&T actors could be stimulated and encouraged by SC professionals to take social and ethical considerations into account, thereby stimulating SRI practices.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A role for communication professionals in support of responsible innovation practices

Steven Flipse   Delft University of Technology

Maarten Sanden   Delft University of Technology

Currently, the role of many Science Communication (SC) professionals is still to transfer the outcomes of Scientific and Technological knowledge development to a larger audience in an understandable way. We advocate that SC professionals can also have an important role during the development of S&T. They could support Socially Responsible Innovation (SRI) by sensitizing S&T actors with public values, based on the same methods that they currently employ to transfer knowledge to a larger audience. This article describes SRI as a ‘wicked problem’ in which SC professionals can play a role to untangle the social complexity in innovation networks. This could safeguard the emergence of innovations that are better attuned to social and political needs, values and opinions, further improving an organisation’s innovative capacity. Based on the notions of knowledge brokering, mediation and nudging, S&T actors could be stimulated and encouraged by SC professionals to take social and ethical considerations into account, thereby stimulating SRI practices.

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