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From Ethical Review to Responsible Research and Innovation by Bernard Reber, Sophie Pellé

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4Responsibility in Innovation and Research: The Need for Moral Innovation

In Chapter 3, we offered a list of 10 different interpretations of responsibility. We have mostly used this to establish a distinction between positive and negative meanings of responsibility by presenting the limits of the negative ones, in which the sole motivations to act morally are legal or moral sanctions.

In this chapter, we shall continue our critical presentation of the explicit, and more often implicit, understandings of responsibility in the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) literature or related literature, this time while concentrating on the positive forms of the concept. We shall see that these forms assume varying degrees of engagement from social actors. They implement various relationships to the norm and persuade Research and Innovation (R&I) agents toward an ethical or moral type of creativity and innovation.

In conjuction with this analysis, we shall implement a more sophisticated form of moral innovation, beyond the priority given to positive interpretations. This will be founded on a pluralistic understanding of responsibility and shall bring together its different dimensions. We shall thus see, in the conclusion (section 4.3), that it is possible to combine different interpretations of responsibility to provide fruitful interpretations that can be adapted to the specific context in which they are applied. Before going into more detail about these positive interpretations, ...

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