Standardising Responsibility? The Significance of Interstitial Spaces
Modern society is characterised by rapid technological development that is often socially controversial and plagued by extensive scientific uncertainty concerning its socio-ecological impacts. Within this context, the concept of ‘responsible research and innovation’ (RRI) is currently rising to prominence in international discourse concerning science and technology governance. As this emerging concept of RRI begins to be enacted through instruments, approaches, and initiatives, it is valuable to explore what it is coming to mean for and in practice. In this paper we draw attention to a realm that is often backgrounded in the current discussions of RRI but which has a highly significant impact on scientific research, innovation and policy—namely, the interstitial space of international standardization. Drawing on the case of nanoscale sciences and technologies to make our argument, we present examples of how international standards are already entangled in the development of RRI and yet, how the process of international standardization itself largely fails to embody the norms proposed as characterizing RRI. We suggest that although current models for RRI provide a promising attempt to make research and innovation more responsive to societal needs, ethical values and environmental challenges, such approaches will need to encompass and address a greater diversity of innovation system agents and spaces if they are to prove successful in their aims.
KeywordsResponsible research and innovation Standardisation Nanotechnology CEN ISO Innovation systems
- BASF. (2014). Nanotechnology code of conduct. http://www.basf.com/group/corporate/nanotechnology/en/microsites/nanotechnology/safety/code-of-conduct. Last accessed September 01, 2014.
- Beck, U. (1986). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. SAGE: London.Google Scholar
- Beder, S. (1993). The nature of sustainable development. Scribe: Newham.Google Scholar
- Bowker, G. C. & Star, S. L. (1999) Sorting things out: Classification and its consequences. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Busch, L. (2012). Standards: Recipes for reality. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- DuPont, & Environmental Defense. (2007). Nano risk framework. http://www.nanoriskframework.com/files/2011/11/6496_Nano-Risk-Framework.pdf. Last accessed September 01, 2014.
- European Commission (EC). (2000). Guide to the implementation of directives based on the new approach and the global approach. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/single-market-goods/files/blue-guide/guidepublic_en.pdf. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- European Commission (EC). (2004). Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology (COM(2004)338). ftp://www.cordis.europa.eu/pub/nanotechnology/docs/nano_com_en_new.pdf. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- European Commission (EC). (2005). Nanosciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005–2009 (COM(2005)243). ftp://www.cordis.europa.eu/pub/nanotechnology/docs/nano_action_plan2005_en.pdf. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- European Commission (EC). (2008). Commission Recommendation of 07/02/2008 on a code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research (COM(2008)424). ftp://www.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/nanocode-recommendation.pdf. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- European Commission (EC). (2012). Responsible research and innovation: Europe’ ability to respond to societal challenges. http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/responsible-research-and-innovation-leaflet_en.pdf. Last accessed September 01, 2014.
- European Commission (EC). (2013). Europe 2020. http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm. Last accessed August 30, 2013.
- Felt, U., Wynne, B., et al. (2007). Taking European knowledge society seriously. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities: Luxembourg.Google Scholar
- Forsberg, E.-M. (2010). The Role of ISO in the governance of nanotechnology. Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet.Google Scholar
- Franck, T. M. (1999). Democracy, legitimacy and the rule of law: Linkages. In NYU Law School, Public Law and Legal Theory Working Paper Series, Working Paper 2.Google Scholar
- ISO. (2011). Business plan ISO/TC 229 nanotechnologies. http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/687806/ISO_TC_229__Nanotechnologies_.pdf?nodeid=6507632&vernum=-2. Last accessed August 30, 2013.
- ISO/IEC/GEN. (2001). ISO/IEC statement on consumer participation in standardization work. ISO/IEC/GEN 2001: 01. http://www.iso.org/iso/copolcoparticipation_2001.pdf. Accessed February 04, 2011.
- Jacob, K., van den Hoven, J., et al. (2013). Options for strengthening responsible research and innovation: Report of the expert group on the state of the art in Europe on responsible research and innovation. European Commission: Brussels.Google Scholar
- Jakobs, K. (2006). Shaping user-side innovation through standardization: The example of ICT. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 73(1): 27–40.Google Scholar
- Jakobs, K. (2010). Shaping standards: People and voting rights and the case of IEEE 802.11. In Proceedings of the WebIST 2010, Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication. Google Scholar
- Kica, E., & Bowman, D. M. (2012). Regulation by means of standardization: Key legitimacy issues of health and safety nanotechnology standards. Jurimetrics The Journal of Law Science and Technology, 53, 11–56.Google Scholar
- Kjølberg, K. (2010). The notion of ‘Responsible Development’ in new approaches to governance of nanosciences and nanotechnologies (PhD Dissertation, University of Bergen). https://bora.uib.no/bitstream/handle/1956/4470/Dr.thesis_Kamilla%20A.%20L.%20Kjolberg.pdf?sequence=1. Last accessed August 30, 2013.
- Laurent, B. (2011). Democracies on trial. Assembling nanotechnology and its problems. Doctorat Paris Tech.Google Scholar
- Lundvall, B.-A. (1992). National systems of innovation: Towards a theory of innovation and interactive learning. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
- Malerba, F. (2006). Sectoral systems: How and why innovation differs across sectors. In J. Fagerberg, D. V. Mowery, & R. R. Nelson (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of innovation (pp. 380–406). Oxford University Press: Oxford.Google Scholar
- OECD. (2007). Working party on nanotechnology: Vision statement http://www.oecd.org/sti/nano/oecdworkingpartyonnanotechnologywpnvisionstatement.htm. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- Owen, R., Stilgoe, J., Macnaghten, P., Gorman, M., Fisher, E., & Guston, D. (2013) “A Framework for Responsible Innovation.” In Responsible innovation: Managing the responsible innovation of science and innovation in society (pp. 27–50). Wiley: London.Google Scholar
- Rip, A., Misa, T., & Schot, J. (Eds.). (1995). Managing technology in society: The approachof constructive technology assessment. London: Thomson.Google Scholar
- Responsible NanoCode. (2008). The responsible nanocode. http://www.nanotechia.org/activities/responsible-nano-code. Last accessed August 31, 2013.
- Scott, W. R. (1987). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). “Developing a framework for responsible innovation” Research Policy (online first). doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.05.008. Last accessed August 30, 2013.
- Thoreau, F. (2011). One to rule them all? The standardization of nanotechnologies. European Journal of Risk Regulation, 3, 418–423.Google Scholar
- Van den Berghe, F. (2006). Good coffee, bad governance? The legitimacy of FLO. In Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Working Paper Number 12. Google Scholar
- Werle, R., & Iversen, E. J. (2006). Promoting legitimacy in technical standardization. Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, 2, 19–39.Google Scholar
- Wickson, F. (2012). Nanotechnology and risk. In D. Maclurcan & N. Radywyl (Eds.), Nanotechnology and global sustainability (pp. 217–240). Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
- Wilsdon, J., & Willis, R. (2004). See-through science: Why public engagement needs to move upstream. (Demos: London). http://www.demos.co.uk/files/Seethroughsciencefinal.pdf?1240939425. Last accessed August 20, 2013.
- World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Report of the world commission on environment and development: Our common future. General Assembly Resolution 42/187 http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf. Last accessed August 30, 2013.
- Zwart, H., Landeweerd, L., & van Rooij, A. (2014). Adapt or perish? Assessing the recent shift in the European research funding arena from ‘ELSA’ to ‘RRI’. Life Sciences, Society and Policy, 10(11), 1–19.Google Scholar