18 February 2016

Focus on sustainable innovation in balance with society

Internationally, various initiatives are being taken to boost dialogue with the public on research. The aim is for scientific results and new innovations to be accepted by everyone concerned and contribute to a better society. How this affects research communication will be discussed at the International Science Festival in Gothenburg in April.

Terms like ‘responsible research and innovation’ (RRI) and ‘open science’ (for greater access to scientific data) are increasingly heard in debates on future research. The EU is currently, for example, developing tools for working on RRI; and VINNOVA, Sweden’s innovation agency, recently held an information meeting on this theme. There, the focus was on the ‘Science with and for Society’ initiative, which concerns such areas as RRI and is part of the EU’s major Research and Innovation framework programme, Horizon 2020.

In general, RRI involves foreseeing and evaluating potential implications and society’s expectations of research and innovation. These aspects will be discussed in the Forum for Research Communication at this year’s International Science Festival in Gothenburg. Hilary Sutcliffe, Director of the UK think tank MATTER, will be among the speakers describing current developments.

Subjects to be discussed at this event on 13 April include ʻcitizen science’ and other new methods of reaching and engaging the public. Other topics will be ways of evaluating research communication and how far Sweden has progressed in the area of RRI.

Text: Andreas Nilsson

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