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ELSA and RRI

Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Emerging Sciences and Responsible Research & Innovation

Edited by
Ellen-Marie Forsberg, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway

Science and technology are powerful engines of change, and generate heated controversies as well as high expectations. In response to this, sensitivity to ethical, legal and societal issues, particularly within the life sciences, has increased over the years and has become a standard feature of funding programs. In particular, RRI focuses on increasing involvement of stakeholder perspectives so as to make research more sensitive to the needs and concerns of society. Multiple-stakeholder involvement may align possible processes and outcomes of innovation with the values and expectations of society. However, the call for responsible and sustainable development still raises many questions.

Part of the papers in this collection involve discussions about whether and how ELSA research can and should adapt to or contribute to RRI, from philosophical and sociological perspectives.
Will ELSA researchers convert to being facilitators for reflection among natural scientists? If so, are they really qualified for such group facilitation work? Was ELSA a too artificially construed field in the first place? Or is there still a need for ELSA as an interdisciplinary field; for instance in providing a conceptual platform for RRI? In providing a conceptual platform for RRI, ELSA research may further develop and fields that have not yet been prominent in ELSA studies, such as innovation studies, may become increasingly important. How can ELSA researchers adapt to the current developments in a way that both safeguards and further develops their key competencies? 

LSSP offers authors from science, social science and the humanities a podium to discuss, compare, and assess approaches to responsible innovation, considering controversial questions and broadening the theoretical perspective. 

  1. Content type: Research

    Emerging RRI practices have goals with respect to learning, governance and achieving RRI outcomes (action). However, few practices actually achieve the action phase as actors lack room to manoeuvre, and lack g...

    Authors: Irja Marije de Jong, Frank Kupper and Jacqueline Broerse

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2018 14:2

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  2. Content type: Research

    The concept of mutual responsiveness is currently based on little empirical data in the literature of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). This paper explores RRI’s idea of mutual responsiveness in the l...

    Authors: Matti Sonck, Lotte Asveld, Laurens Landeweerd and Patricia Osseweijer

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2017 13:14

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  3. Content type: Research

    In European science and technology policy, various styles have been developed and institutionalised to govern the ethical challenges of science and technology innovations. In this paper, we give an account of ...

    Authors: Laurens Landeweerd, David Townend, Jessica Mesman and Ine Van Hoyweghen

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2015 11:8

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  4. Content type: Research article

    This editorial presents the background for the article collection ‘ELSA and RRI’. It sets the stage for the topics discussed in the collection and briefly presents the different contributions. It concludes by ...

    Authors: Ellen-Marie Forsberg

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2015 11:2

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  5. Content type: Research article

    Within the space of a few years, the idea of Responsible Research and Innovation, and its acronym RRI, catapulted from an obscure phrase to the topic of conferences and attempts to specify and realize it. How ...

    Authors: Arie Rip

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2014 10:17

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  6. Content type: Research article

    Two decades ago, in 1994, in the context of the 4th EU Framework Programme, ELSA was introduced as a label for developing and funding research into the ethical, legal and social aspects of emerging sciences and t...

    Authors: Hub Zwart, Laurens Landeweerd and Arjan van Rooij

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2014 10:11

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  7. Content type: Research article

    This article discusses outcomes of a dialogue conference on ‘The road ahead for ELSA in Norway: Issues of quality, influence and network cooperation’ held in Oslo in December 2012. Norwegian researchers in the...

    Authors: Ellen-Marie Forsberg

    Citation: Life Sciences, Society and Policy 2014 10:1

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