Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 703–725

The Why and How of Enabling the Integration of Social and Ethical Aspects in Research and Development

Authors

    • Department of Biotechnology, Section Biotechnology and Society, Faculty of Applied SciencesDelft University of Technology
    • CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences
    • Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation
  • Maarten C. A. van der Sanden
    • Faculty of Applied Sciences, Science Education and CommunicationDelft University of Technology
  • Patricia Osseweijer
    • Department of Biotechnology, Section Biotechnology and Society, Faculty of Applied SciencesDelft University of Technology
    • CSG Centre for Society and the Life Sciences
    • Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation
    • BE-Basic
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-012-9423-2

Cite this article as:
Flipse, S.M., van der Sanden, M.C.A. & Osseweijer, P. Sci Eng Ethics (2013) 19: 703. doi:10.1007/s11948-012-9423-2

Abstract

New and Emerging Science and Technology (NEST) based innovations, e.g. in the field of Life Sciences or Nanotechnology, frequently raise societal and political concerns. To address these concerns NEST researchers are expected to deploy socially responsible R&D practices. This requires researchers to integrate social and ethical aspects (SEAs) in their daily work. Many methods can facilitate such integration. Still, why and how researchers should and could use SEAs remains largely unclear. In this paper we aim to relate motivations for NEST researchers to include SEAs in their work, and the requirements to establish such integration from their perspectives, to existing approaches that can be used to establish integration of SEAs in the daily work of these NEST researchers. Based on our analyses, we argue that for the successful integration of SEAs in R&D practice, collaborative approaches between researchers and scholars from the social sciences and humanities seem the most successful. The only way to explore whether that is in fact the case, is by embarking on collaborative research endeavours.

Keywords

Social and ethical aspects Responsible innovation Science and technology studies Engineering ethics

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012