Societies and policy increasingly rely on research and innovation to address the challenges of our time. More than ever before, researchers are required to align their work to ideals of societal relevance and responsibility, and to fulfil expectations of scientific excellence at the same time. In Europe, this call for changing science-society relations has been subsumed under the term “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI).
As a new concept, RRI explores possibilities of integrating responsibility as core value in research and innovation. A new research field is starting to form around the discussion of this concept. However, what RRI can concretely mean in the practices of researchers at an institution like the University of Vienna has hardly been explored so far. To address this, our interdisciplinary research platform studies the many moments in which responsible decision-making is important in everyday research practices and the conditions that support - or may prevent - responsible acting.
In the platform, life scientists and social scientists work together to develop a framework for understanding and fostering responsible research and innovation in practice. Complementary to our research activities, we organise public events to open broader debates about the meaning of responsibility in academic practice.