2Extending the Object of Responsibility Assessments in RRI

The discussion about responsibility with regard to NEST usually covers accountability for possible future consequences of scientific and technological progress and the use of its results. In the context of responsibility, it must be clarified which of the possible consequences can today be considered to be explicitly desired (the “right impacts” according to von Schomberg [VON 13]) or, in view of the possibly unintended consequences, at least as responsible. In this chapter, this apparently obvious orientation of RRI is substantially expanded with regard to the object of responsibility, namely, by the responsibility for the attributions of meaning that are currently taking place with regard to NEST developments and for the consequences of these attributions.

2.1. Motivation and overview

The basic idea of RRI is that research and innovation are supposed to take place responsibly. This demand occasionally leads to irritations, namely, when it creates the impression that previous research and innovation have taken place in a more or less irresponsible manner. It is quite easy to counter this irritation. The point of RRI is not to raise an accusation against previous research and innovation, but to make responsibility and accountability transparent and to open the relevant issues to society, such as in participatory approaches.1

The second and frequently posed question as to what responsibility precisely means and how it ...

Get The Hermeneutic Side of Responsible Research and Innovation now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.