The European Commission defined six thematic elements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI): public engagement, science ethics, science education, gender equality, open access and governance. However, from its very beginnings, the HEIRRI project has emphasized that the concept of RRI is way more than these arbitrarily assigned issues.

RRI is a critical and transformative concept of the science-society relationship, emerged from scholarly research. Its content is not fixed, and its radical approach encourages reflection and a new way of doing research, that is anticipatory, inclusive, reflexive and responsive.

Anticipatory means that research should be able to understand how the current processes will effect and define future needs. Inclusive means that all stakeholders should be involved throughout the whole research process, including the scientific and education communities, citizens, policy-makers, industry, and civil society organizations. Reflexive refers to the fact that research should examine and reflect on its actions and consequent effects. Finally, responsive means that research should be ready to respond to new approaches, principles, norms and knowledge.

Moreover, the RRI Tools project suggests adding three more process requirements for RRI: “diversity (key criterion for the evaluation of interactive policy-making processes), meaningful openness (rephrasing transparency) and adaptive change (describing how an RRI process must leave room to adaptation)”.

Do you agree with the 6 key dimensions identified by the European Commission? What are your thoughts about research being anticipatory, inclusive, reflexive and responsive?

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