The present volume elucidates the scope of responsibility in science and technology governance by way of assimilating insights gleaned from sociological theory and STS and by investigating the ways in which responsibility unfolds in social processes. Drawing on these theoretical perspectives, the volume goes on to review a ‘heuristic model’ of responsibility. Such a model provides a simple, tentative, though no less coherent analytical framework for further examining the idea of responsibility, its transformations, configurations and contradictions.
This concise but insightful and intellectually rich book offers a new departure in the growing corpus on responsible research and innovation. Scholars of both sociology and science and technology studies will be informed, and at times captivated, by the depth and clarity of argument provided by the authors and by its implications for the responsible governance of science and technology.
Phil Macnaghten, Professor of Technology and International Development, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
In this highly recommendable book, the authors make a convincing case for bringing social theory into the evolving discussion about responsibility in the context of science and technology. Their argument is stringently developed into an inspiring and promising heuristic framework for analysing responsibility. The book is a model of clarity and deserves a broad audience in science and technology studies, social theory, and beyond.
Niels Mejlgaard, Centre Director, Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Aarhus University, Denmark
Simone Arnaldi is post-doctoral research fellow in sociology at the University of Padua, Italy.
Luca Bianchi is adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Trieste, Italy.