Responsibility versus sustainability, ethics, and societal engagement
The German Science, Technology, Innovation context
AbstractWe examine the concept of responsible research and innovation (RRI) in Germany in the context of national science, technology and innovation (STI) as well as its legal and normative framework in relation to ethics and societal engagement and compare the results to similar international research. Our analysis shows that responsibility plays a central role in research practice guided by research ethics standards and societal grand challenges. Consequently, there is a significant increase in demands for inclusion and engagement of a wider stakeholder spectrum in STI. Compared to other countries, the concept of RRI in Germany is increasingly superseded by that of sustainability. We argue that responsibility and sustainability are conceptually close and highly interchangeable in the German national debate. We conclude with basic recommendations for greater clarity in research on responsibility and sustainability and the aims of ethics and societal engagement.
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