Conclusion: From Ethics to Responsibility and Back Again

Having left the ethical reviews (ERs) that apply to any financed research project, notably for the European Commission (EC), we then moved onto an understanding suggested in its own right by the latter: responsible research and innovation (RRI). While the former are widely diffused and imposed, much remains to be done for the latter even though numerous calls for proposals intersperse the H2020 program, some of which have been used in this book.

It is tempting to say that, despite these imbalances and differences in age, ERs and RRI both carry a concern for ethical issues relating to research and, more widely, to innovation. This anchoring in ethical concerns, which is legitimized by the fact that this term appears both in ERs and as the sixth pillar of RRI in the EC’s presentation, is in itself original if we consider the academic literature on RRI. Indeed to our knowledge, Robert Gianni, who wrote the previous book in this set, and his colleague Philippe Goujon are among the rare researchers to have also anchored RRI in the ethical pillar. Of course, from Chapter 1 we have addressed ethics in a different way, as much by taking account of ERs by also recognizing and deploying ethical pluralism. We have also taken on the perspective of pluralism in the place of moral responsibility, understood according to ten conceptual understandings. We can take these interpretations one by one, or put several of them together, at the ...

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