US National RRI - Practice Workshop Report

The U.S. workshop brought together 26 stakeholders from the U.S. federal government, private sector, civil society, and academia at Arizona State University. RRI was approached from a multiplicity of different perspectives, and used only as a term associated with the project, holding no clear or inherent meaning for the participants. Despite a noted lack of familiarity with the term, many of the areas targeted by the keys were discussed as centrally important to the work of the various organizations represented. Participants tended to focus on one or two areas or “keys” seen as most relevant to organizations’ activities, with little engagement across issues that might indicate a more holistic view of RRI. While there was some disagreement among the participants on the kinds and levels of intervention that efforts to foster responsibility should include, areas of overlap emerged, with a particular focus on improving public engagement and diversity, while opening institutionalized spaces for broader and more inclusive public deliberation. Institutional gaps in governance mechanisms and attendant risk associated with current research and innovation practices were also a focus of the group, although no clear pathways forward to address these issues were agreed on by the group. A general agreement that there is an urgent need to address serious issues associated with current research and innovation practices and cultures prevailed, and the group expressed interest in continued engagement on the topic.