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Message posted on 15/06/2020

Reminder: CfP 'RRI Futures' - Journal of Responsible Innovation


Call for Papers for the Journal of Responsible Innovation:

RRI Futures Learning from a decade of Responsible Research and Innovation

What can be learned from roughly a decade of interest in Responsible Research
and Innovation (RRI)? How should such learning inform policy, scholarly, and
practitioner agendas and imaginations for the next 10 years? These questions
come at a critical time: Whereas RRI has come to occupy an increasingly
important space in science, technology and innovation policymaking,
particularly but not exclusively in Europe, the European Commissions (EC)
science policy discourse is shifting towards terms such as open
innovation. This move, as some have noted,
suggests questions and uncertainties even as it presents opportunities for
renewal (Fisher 2020) or at least taking stock of both shortcomings and

We invite contributions of several different kinds for a Special Issue of the
Journal of Responsible
Innovation devoted to learning
from the ECs approach to and investments in RRI in order to shed light on
possible, desirable, or alternative futures of RRI. Based upon what can be
learned from the recent experience with RRI, what potential futures and
agendas can be plausibly anticipated or legitimately recommended?

We invite research articles of 6,000-10,000 words that empirically ground
their assessments of RRI futures in analyses of RRI policies, programs, and
activities. We are particularly interested in what can be learned more
generally and moving forward from their successes, failures, and tensions. By
empirical, we are open to qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and
experimental approaches that may include but are not limited to surveys,
interviews, case studies, observations, experiences, document analysis and
literature reviews. We also welcome a variety of theoretical, conceptual, and
historical treatments of RRI policies, discourses, practices, and assumptions.
Finally, we invite short Perspectives (roughly 2000 words) that present
well-grounded opinions, commentary, or visions that are based in the scholarly
literature or in new research.

In keeping with JRIs broad approach, we encourage potential authors to treat
RRI as a unique and historically situated policy experiment in the normative
governance of science and innovation that sits alongside numerous other
approaches. Questions and topics that potential contributors may wish to
consider as they engage more broadly with RRI futures include the following:

What have we learned from RRI about the politics of responsible
innovation? How can RRI experiments and experiences help us understand
interactions among publics, experts and other innovation actors in reflexive,
anticipatory and tentative forms of governance?
Can lessons learned from RRI guide us in confronting and negotiating
irresponsibilities, inequities and misalignments among research and innovation
actors and institutions, whether these are persistent or emerging?
How does the current experience with RRI compare to prior or
contemporary policy-for-science experiences such as Technology Assessment,
Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects/Implications (ELSA/ELSI) research, and
Broader Impacts?
In what ways has it experimented with or advanced social scientific
concepts and methodologies of foresight and anticipation, public and
stakeholder engagement, or socio-technical integration and collaboration?
How does RRI relate to past and present grassroots experiments in
social innovation, citizen science, and related movements that are now
gaining traction with policymakers, scientists, and others in Europe and
How has RRI been viewed and taken up in industrial contexts? How can new
constellations of actors and institutions respond to calls for increased
alignment of products and processes with societal needs and values?
How has responsibility been imagined, achieved or apportioned in RRI
thinking and practice, particularly in relation to innovation? How has this
relationship developed and what can we learn from this? Can the ECs six
keys (ethics, gender equality, public
engagement, etc.) be reconciled with other understandings of responsibility
and RRI?
To what extent does the RRI experiment provide an adequate response to
the grand societal challenges that face us today, such as: sustainable
development, climate change, infectious diseases, social welfare, poverty and
inequality, aging, big data? Has RRI helped to place these challenges more
firmly on policy and research agendas, particularly in a period of major
global disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?
What can be learned from numerous real-world experiments with RRI,
including in non-European contexts (e.g., the Global South) and domains that
do not usually fall under its remit (e.g., incumbent sciences and
What remains to be learned, retained, reclaimed, forgotten, or

With these and related questions, we seek to develop insights and formulate
agendas that will inform future iterations and manifestations of responsible
innovation, whether or not explicitly associated with the specific notion of
RRI. We encourage potential contributors to base any proposed new definitions,
frameworks, or visions in empirical analysis or in the larger scholarly
literature and in particular policy and historical research, reflexive
analyses, and policy experiences and cycles. Authors are further encouraged to
take into account Owen and Panseras (2019)
distinction between RRI as a policy approach and Responsible Innovation more
broadly as an intellectual and scholarly set of visions and practices.
Explorations of potential and alternative RRI futures should thus be based on
a solid grounding in empirics or the literature, with a view towards answering
difficult but timely questions about the lessons that can be learned from the
RRI experiment.

Extended abstracts of no more than 1,000 words should be emailed to JRI Guest
Editors Michiel Van Oudheusden and Clare
Shelley-Egan by June 19th. Authors will be notified as
to whether their abstract was accepted or not by July 10th. Invited
manuscripts should be submitted through the JRI
website by September 18th to
undergo standard double-blind peer review. We aim for publication in late 2020
or early 2021.


Fisher, E. 2020. Reinventing responsible innovation. Journal of Responsible
Innovation 7(1), 1-5.

Owen, R. & Pansera, M. 2019, Responsible Innovation and Responsible Research
and Innovation. In D. Simon, S. Kuhlmann, J. Stamm & W. Canzler (eds),
Handbook on Science and Public Policy. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 26-48.
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