Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities
Research project

Res Publica: Responsibility, practice, and the public good across Digital Life

This project represents a strengthening and extension of the research and work to establish a novel platform for Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the Center for Digital Life Norway (DLN).

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Digitalt Liv.no

Main content

DNL was established in February 2016 and aims at creating a strong and coherent national platform for transdisciplinary and digitalized biotechnology. All activities within DLN are supposed to be underpinned by the principle and practice of RRI.

This research project aims to improve RRI activities across DLN and its research projects by addressing RRI in terms of res publica (i.e. common good and public concerns) and by situating RRI also in the socio-political-economic context pertinent to DLN. With a departure point in DLN, we investigate how RRI can be integrated in three domains of practices: 1) scientific practices, mediation and evaluation, 2) innovation practices, and 3) policy and institutional practices.

Based on previous research and on experiences from working with DLN, we know that translating RRI into appropriate practices is more demanding than anticipated in mainstream RRI scholarship and policies. In action research, we will together with DLN's scientists elaborate how RRI can be shaped and implemented under the conditions they work in and look for alternative designs for distributing collective responsibilities.

The project will be a significant contribution to international Research on RRI in three ways.

First, it takes RRI theory further by introducing practice theory as an approach to study the formation of public concerns as well as to identify the kind of situations where RRI resonates with ongoing research practices. This may make RRI easier to implement.

Second, the use of a practice perspective extends the scope of potential RRI interventions to become multi-sited, going beyond academia.

Third, our research will introduce action research methods to engage DLN and related actors in a learning process.