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Richard Owen and Mario Pansera

This chapter analyses the emergence and evolution of discourse surrounding responsible innovation during its adoption into the European Framework Programme of Research and Innovation under the name ‘responsible research and innovation’. This chapter shows that the politics of science and innovation has always been central to the rationale for responsible innovation, but discourse on responsible innovation has fallen short of discussing the political question of what type of future we want innovation to create. The authors go beyond a predominantly process-based form of the responsible innovation implementation, seeking to address a change for the good through a call for collective engagement that raises profound questions of what a right and good future should be, and which types of change we want to favour in order to help this future to come into being.

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Richard Owen and Mario Pansera

This chapter describes the evolution of Responsible Innovation (RI) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) as two significant discourses emerging over the last decade. RI is a discourse with strong academic roots. Anchored in a future-oriented notion of responsibility, it envisions the integration and embedding of capacities for anticipation, reflexivity, inclusive deliberation and responsiveness in and around the processes of innovation and techno-visionary science aimed at this. RRI emerged in contrast as a policy discourse from the European Commission’s Science in Society programme. While its early formulation shared much with the discourse of RI, over time it has become more instrumentally and prosaically framed around a package of five ‘EC RRI’ keys – gender, ethics, public engagement, open access and science education. After analysing and critiquing the main features of these discourses we consider their translation into policy and practice, before concluding with research gaps for future study.