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The Virtual Institute for Responsible innovation

by Redazione FGB [1], 23 September 2013

The Bassetti Foundation is pleased to announce that last week the NSF [2] announced a grant to establish a new Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI [3]) at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU (CNS-ASU).

Alongside the US National Academy of Engineering's Center for Engineering, Ethics and Society [4] and IEEE Spectrum Online [5], the Bassetti Foundation is a founding institutional affiliate.

VIRI is a part of an NSF initiative called "Science Across Virtual Institutes". Virtual institutes are designed to facilitate worldwide collaboration among scientists and engineers on topics of common interest.

VIRI's goal is to enable an international community of students and scholars who can help establish a common understanding of responsible innovation in research, training and outreach. By doing so, VIRI aims to contribute to the governance of emerging technologies that are dominated by market uncertainty and difficult questions of how well they reflect societal values.

VIRI's activities will also be tightly connected with the new, international peer-reviewed Journal of Responsible Innovation [6], which will begin publication in 2014 with Taylor & Francis. As readers will know Jonathan Hankins sits on the Editorial Board as a representative of the Foundation.

Led by ASU faculty members David Guston [7] and Erik Fisher [8], VIRI will bring a social and ethical lens to research and development practices that do not always focus on the broader implications of their research and products. Guston, director of CNS-ASU, co-director of the Consortium of Science, Policy and Outcomes, and professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, has been pushing for the establishment of academic units that focus on responsible innovation for years.

VIRI is designed to make an impact in academia and in the marketplace. By designing curricular activities and programs, VIRI will insert responsible innovation into students' graduate and post-doctoral work before they begin their careers. Through industry partnerships, VIRI will be well positioned to bring concepts of responsible innovation directly to corporations engaging in the research and development of emerging technological products.

We would like to congratulate David Guston and his team on this award, and look forward to working closely with all concerned in the coming years.

More information on the project can be found on the VIRI website [9].


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Links in this document:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.nsf.gov/
  3. 3] https://www.virinetwork.org/
  4. 4] http://www.nae.edu/
  5. 5] http://spectrum.ieee.org/
  6. 6] /en/focus/2013/09/journal_of_responsible_innovat.html
  7. 7] /en/focus/2010/07/preventative_governance.html
  8. 8] http://cns.asu.edu/people/erik-fisher
  9. 9] https://www.virinetwork.org/
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