Postgraduate Course: Responsible Research and Innovation Living Laboratory (PGSP11532)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council and other funding bodies (eg European Union) require scientists and engineers to acknowledge and address the social and ethical dimensions of their research. Furthermore, researchers are often expected to field media enquiries, take part in public engagement activities, contribute to policy making, work through regulatory issues related to their research, and participate in interdisciplinary teams. This course will equip students with the skills and confidence to contribute productively to broader discussions of what it means to be a 'responsible researcher'.
This option will build upon and apply concepts from the option on Foundations in Responsible Research and Innovation to the specific research areas and projects with which the students will engage
1) Course description
This interdisciplinary course aims to equip students to address the social, legal and ethical issues surrounding research and innovation and consider how these relate to their research activites. It will build upon the concepts and insights from the introductory course Foundations in Responsible Research and Innovation. Through discussion and student centred learning students will explore how these ideas may be applied in their working lives, and in their proposed research project.
2) Outline syllabus
i) introduction to other members of the cohort; initial mapping of each student's research area/proposed research project; scanning to identify possible controversies; ethical and legal governance regimes
ii) analyse the innovation journey of the student's research area/proposed research project; start by mapping key stakeholders and how their values and concerns may bear upon the research and its exploitation pathways .
analyse processes of research and innovation; the role of scientists and engineers and a range of stakeholders including innovators, regulators and diverse publics; how these may vary between different technoscientific and application domains
iii) undertake an ethical audit of your proposed research project and consider issues arising and how they may shape your research choices
iv) prepare a public briefing of your proposed research project and its socio-legal as well as technical challenges; present this to fellow students; discuss how the presentation would need to be adjusted for particular audiences of this work
v) develop and discuss with your peers a future-oriented assessment of issues that may arise in the conduct and exploitation of your proposed research project. Compare your approach with those proposed by your peers (perhaos comparing a one similar project and another less similar).
3) Student learning experience
The course will revolve around student-centred learning. A major focus will be small group work and discussion in class.
The course is designed to foster exchange and strengthen interactions within and between cohort interactions. This will include interactions with students from earlier cohorts and complementary programmes. The RRI Living Lab will become a repository for ideas about responsible and ethical research practice.
Students will also develop skills and confidence in reflecting upon research practices and in communicating to external audiences
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Develop a critical appreciation of what might be entailed by the practice of responsible research and innovation in their proposed research project
- Review external source of information and concepts previously introduced in the course Foundations in Responsible Research and Innovation and how they might apply in their own intended research project/field of research
- Develop a reflexive awareness of the diverse orientations, interests and values of the stakeholders potentially involved in and affected by their proposed research project and other developments in their intended field
- Develop their ability to present - in written and verbal form -- coherent, balanced arguments about the social and ethical dimensions of developments in science and engineering research and innovation.
- Use a range of research skills to plan and execute an original report reflecting on how they might respond to the challenges of being a responsible researcher in their intended field of
|Balmer, A, Calvert, J, Marris, C, Molyneux-Hodgson, S, Frow, E, Kearnes, M, Bulpin, K, Schyfter, P, Mackenzie, A and Martin, P (2015) Taking Roles in Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Reflections on working in Post-ELSI Spaces in the UK Synthetic Biology Community, Science and Technology Studies 28 (3): 3-25|
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Smith, R.D.J., Scott, D., Kamwendo, Z.T., Calvert, J. (2019) An Agenda for Responsible Research and Innovation in ERA CoBioTech. Swindon, UK: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and ERA CoFund on Biotechnology
Stilgoe, J., Watson, M. & Kuo, K. (2013) Public engagement with biotechnologies offers lessons for the governance of geoengineering research and beyond. Plos Biology, e1001707
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|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||By the end of the course students will have strengthened their skills in:
- considering how the concept of responsible research and innovation might be pertinent to their own research activities;
- considering the responses and orientation of a range of stakeholders in relation to their proposed area of research and its implications for their research project;
- presenting information visually and orally (in seminars and essays).
|Course organiser||Prof Robin Williams
Tel: (0131 6)50 6387
|Course secretary||Mr Dave Nicol
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485