Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Science Shops

Responsible research and innovation (RRI) is about conducting research and innovation in a way that takes into account societal needs and challenges and involves key stakeholders throughout the research process. By their participatory nature and role in bridging the gap between science and society, science shops embody many aspects of RRI. It is a collaborative, demand-driven, bottom-up approach to research that is undertaken in response to an identified societal issue or problem on behalf of and together with the community. Research processes are often interdisciplinary and involve key stakeholders affected by the issue being addressed in the research process.

An RRI tools set for science shops

However, there are also opportunities for science shops offered by adopting a more conscious approach to RRI.  The SciShops project has collated a set of RRI tools and methodologies of relevance to science shops to help them make their community-based participatory research even more participatory and responsible.

The tools are categorised according to key dimensions of RRI (such as ethics, gender equality, open access etc.) as well as the various activities undertaken by science shops as part of community-based participatory research, including project definition and implementation, evaluation and dissemination.

A core source of tools has been the RRI Toolkit , developed as part of the EU RRI Tools FP7-project. Wherever possible, links have been provided to entries in the RRI Toolkit, which contain direct links to the relevant resources.  The tools set is by no means exhaustive and further resources will be added as they become available and identified.

It should be stressed that there is not a rigid set of guidelines for implementing RRI. RRI is more a holistic approach that requires active reflection to identify ways in which RRI can help to improve relevant aspects of your own research practices.

Sections in the RRI Tools set: