Welcome note from HEIRRI Coordinator

Welcome letter to the 2nd HEIRRI Conference
“Education towards a responsible society,
transforming universities through RRI”

On behalf of the HEIRRI Consortium, it is my honour to invite you to the 2nd HEIRRI Conference! It is a pleasure to finally reach this point of our HEIRRI adventure: the second and last conference is about to happen. We want this event to be enriching, empowering and inspiring to all of you. Read this welcome letter and learn more about our one-day Conference taking place in Vienna on April 27th.  

Content and structure
Our keynote speakers have brilliant ideas to share with all of you. We are lucky to count with the participation of Philippe Galiay, who works for the European Commission Research and Innovation DG as Head of Sector “Mainstreaming RRI in Horizon 2020 and the European Research Area”; Rolf Tarrach, President of the European University Association (EUA); and Vincent Blok, associate Professor in Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Business Ethics and Responsible Innovation at Wageningen University.

Sharing HEIRRI training programmes and materials. All the HEIRRI programmes and materials will be available in Open Access via the HEIRRI website and the RRI Tools platform, together with several university repositories. At the conference, they will be explained and a hands-on session will be offered. We will also share with the audience our experience with the more than 20 pilots organised in Europe and beyond, and the professors implementing the pilots, the students trying them first-hand and the science museums participating in some activities will share their opinions and experiences. The training programmes and materials developed by HEIRRI are designed so that they can be used in any disciplinary area and in different contexts, including undergrad, postgrad, masters, PhD, online courses (MOOC), “train-the-trainer” workshops and summer schools.

A mosaic of experiences and views. We want to offer a varied mosaic of sessions during the conference, all of them with a common focus on the need and practice of teaching RRI at higher education as an instrument to transform society. So, we have worked for an interesting mix of voices, perspectives and formats. The Conference gives the floor to authors worldwide already working on this issue, some of the main RRI H2020 project leaders, science museum practitioners working on RRI, and many more. The formats vary: some are panels, some are project-based sessions, other are hands-on workshops. There will also be a speed-dating session with 17 initiatives, and of course a poster session throughout the event with “poster walks” during breaks. We want all sessions to be equally enriching and thought-provoking!

Next steps of HEIRRI
The conference will represent the start of a network of RRI experts interested in promoting RRI teaching in Europe and the rest of the globe. This network would be composed of professors, researchers, CSO representatives, academics, industry and many others, all gathered together to turn into reality HEIRRI’s ultimate goal: the integration of RRI into higher education institutions. Because, as you know, teaching about responsibility is key for a future of responsible science!

The venue
Our conference will take place at the emblematic Aula der Wissenschaften (“the Hall of Sciences”), a beautiful building in the heart of Vienna. See this map to spot where it is. The space will be the perfect scenario for our HEIRRI conference with its plenary auditory, breakout rooms and the constant atmosphere for networking. 

Evening reception and dinner at the Natural History Museum
What’s best to conclude the conference than an evening reception and dinner at the Natural History Museum? This marvellous museum from 1889 will host the HEIRRI community to wrap-up our day in a more social way. 

Vienna
The beautiful city of Vienna, in the heart of Europe, will be the perfect stage for our gathering. Full of history, green parks and delicious chocolate, the capital of Austria is already waiting for all of us to get there! Take some time to enjoy the surroundings before or after the Conference, it’s one of the most stunning cities in the world.

See you soon in Vienna! Bis gleich!

Gema Revuelta
HEIRRI project Coordinator
Director of the Studies Centre in Science, Communication and Society
Universitat Pompeu Fabra