Key facts

On Wednesday, February 3rd, 16.00 – 17.30 CET, Beyond Cosmethics IdeaLab invites you to an open lecture by Dr. Dr. phil. René von Schomberg on the concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). The event is free of charge, and registration is open until 02 February via the following link.

What will be discussed?

What does RRI truly mean? The concept is linked with the idea of applying ethics in innovation, scientific responsibility as well as novel democratic practices in governance institutions. In a nutshell, RRI implies a new innovation paradigm. Under the context of markets, RRI seeks to couple market innovation with the generation of socio-ecologically desired purposes – acknowledging that the latter are not going to be produced automatically through the innovation process. To that end, RRI aims at bringing different governmental, societal, and industrial actors into broader coalitions for a scaled institutional change on how scientific research and research innovation is conceptualized, implemented, and leveraged. Dr. Dr. phil. von Schomberg will discuss RRI in the context of six deficits of the R&I ecosystem at an international scale. After the lecture, a section on Q&A is foreseen.

Who is the speaker?

Dr. Dr. phil. René von Schomberg is a philosopher and STS scholar. He graduated from the University of Wageningen and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Twente, the Netherlands (Science and Technology Studies) and from the Goethe University in Frankfurt (Philosophy). He has been a European Union Fellow at George Mason University (USA) in 2007 and has been with the European Commission since 1998.

He is author/co-editor of 15 books. Moreover, he is the first editor of and contributor to the International Handbook on Responsible Innovation. Dr. von Schomberg has worked extensively on the issues of deliberative democracy, technology assessment, scientific advice for policy, ethical and socio-economic aspects of emerging technologies, the precautionary principle, open science, and responsible innovation.

Who is the organizer?

The event is organized by “Beyond Cosmethics: Responsible Ethics for Responsible Innovation” IdeaLab of KU Leuven, a multi-disciplinary initiative that bridges researchers from a multitude of fields, including law, ethics, social sciences, and computer science, to systematically examine the problems of ethics misuse in ICT. The Beyond Cosmethics IdeaLab recognizes that ethical principles can easily be wrongly applied in the field of tech innovation and development. As such, the initiative strives for methodological and foundational reflection on the concept and application of ethics as a field per se. To that end, the Beyond Cosmethics IdeaLab puts forward three distinct goals: (i) it positions and critically examines ethics within the framework of ICT; (ii) it implements activities to foster the potential of ethics on the evaluation and assessment of ICT environment; and (iii) it formulates the lessons learned into concrete recommendations for a variety of societal actors and stakeholders, such as CSOs, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and scientists.

In light of the IdeaLab’s goal to conduct a critical investigation, this lecture offers a forum to discuss and process important views relevant to the (mis)use of ethics in ICT.