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Home > Focus > Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society

Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society

by Redazione FGB [1], 30 April 2013

This week saw the digital release of Richard Owen, John Bessant and Maggie Heintz's book entitled 'Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society'.

The print copy release is scheduled for next month, and interested readers can download any or all of the chapters through the Wiley website Online Library [2] where they can also order a book.

The publisher's book summary states the following:

Innovation is at the centre of current economic policy in most nations, and yet report after report from learned societies such as the Royal Society have repeatedly asked for a more responsible approach to innovation, one that has been echoed by the public. At a time when we face a bewildering number of emerging technologies (such as nanotechnologies, geoengineering, whole genome sequencing, and next generation computing) the topic is extremely timely.

Responsible Innovation defines what this is, and brings together the issues, challenges and solutions in a constructive, accessible way.

The book introduces key themes from  academic and business literature to redefine our relationship with innovation and technology. Essentially multidisciplinary in nature, these include:
1. Identifying and managing the risks of innovation in the present and future
2. Building reflexive capacity into science and innovation to identify and manage the unanticipated wider impacts of innovation
3. Opening up dialogue around innovation and emerging technologies to understand  wider acceptability and public concerns
4. Regulation, governance and adaptive management
5. Key questions regarding the concepts of responsibility, accountability and liability

Throughout the book, key aspects of Responsible Innovation are scrutinized, underpinned by current knowledge and using case studies / examples for illustration. It concludes with a forward look that pulls together the various fields of understanding and knowledge to ask "How do we ensure the responsible emergence of innovation in democratic society?"

The Bassetti Foundation's Jonathan Hankins has a piece in the book entitled Endnotes: Building Capacity for Responsible Innovation, which unlike the chapters in the book is available for free download here [3] or via the contents section through the link above.

Regular Foundation readers will be familiar with many of the authors in this collection. Chapter 2 A Framework for Responsible Innovation is co-authored by David Guston, who also authored chapter 6 "Daddy, Can I Have a Puddle Gator?": Creativity, Anticipation, and Responsible Innovation. Guston visited the Foundation in Milan in 2010 to present a seminar about his work, a review of which can be found here [4].

Chapter 3 is written by Renè Von Schomberg and entitled A Vision of Responsible Research and Innovation. The chapter outlines his Responsible Innovation Matrix as described in this 2012 article [5] on the Foundation website.

Chapter 10 entitled Responsible Innovation in Finance: Directions and Implications is co-authored by Fabian Muniesa of the Observatory for Responsible Innovation in Paris. Muniesa was panelist at the 2012 Bassetti Foundation Lecture given by Michael Bruch at the Milan Bocconi University, a report and video coverage of which can be found here [6].

Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society by Richard Owen, John Bessant, Maggy Heintz (editors) is published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 312 pages, 119 Euro in hardback, 51.09 Euro in soft cover.

cover - Responsible Innovation


(photo on top: Blue Lake (221/365) [7] by Dr. RawheaD from Flickr)


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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781118551424%3bjsessionid=8B3750B30409940BEFBDC7BEE9CA7EB9.d04t01
  3. 3] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118551424.notes/summary
  4. 4] /en/focus/2010/07/preventative_governance.html#.UXkmqn138Yw
  5. 5] /en/focus/2012/09/von_schombergs_responsible_inn.html#.UXkntH138Yw
  6. 6] /en/focus/2013/01/risk_and_responsibility_in_inn_1.html#.UXkqsn138Yw
  7. 7] http://www.flickr.com/photos/rawhead/3804585258
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