UNESCO-AAAS Joint Workshop on Responsible Research and Innovation

When :

from Thursday 13 February, 2020
to Thursday 13 February, 2020

Type of event :

Working group/Expert Meeting

Where :

Sheraton Grand Hotel, Seattle, United States of America

Contact :

Carl Vannetelbosch, c.vannetelbosch@unesco.org

In February 2020, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is holding its annual meeting in Seattle, Washington (USA). The event is expected to attract some 8,000 scientists and other stakeholders. During this event, on 13 February, UNESCO and AAAS will gather 30 to 40 experts for a workshop to discuss UNESCO’s Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, and the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and how it fits in the North American region.

Scientific responsibility contributes to trust in society. The workshop will convene diverse members of the global research community for an exchange of views, aiming to generate collaborative co-creations and new initiatives.

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is an approach that anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations with regard to research and innovation, with the aim to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation. RRI implies that societal actors (researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organizations, etc.) 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.

In practice, RRI is implemented as a package that includes multi-actor and public engagement in research and innovation, enabling easier access to scientific results, the take up of gender and ethics in the research and innovation content and process, and formal and informal science education.

Since 2018, UNESCO has been part of the European Union's H2020 project entitled ‘Responsible Research and Innovation Networking Globally’ (RRING). The overall aim of the project is to bring RRI into the linked up global world to promote mutual learning and collaboration in RRI. An important part of the project consists of learning how the concept exists in each region via a bottom-up approach.

Furthermore, UNESCO’s Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, which was adopted in 2017 by 195 Member States, integrally includes RRI. The Recommendation is therefore considered the normative framework that applies RRI principles outside of Europe.

The purpose of this jointly organized UNESCO-AAAS workshop is to diversify RRING’s global perspective on emerging research findings in the project by gaining input from RRI-related stakeholders. This is closely tied to prior research developed in the project, which refers to the State of the Art on RRI in each geographic region. The outcome is to get a perspective on RRI from various stakeholders in North America.