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  • Responsible Innovation

    We expect our members to practice science and innovation that is socially desirable and undertaken in the public interest.

    Anticipate, Reflect, Engage and Act (AREA)

    A Responsible Innovation approach should be one that continuously seeks to:

    Anticipate – describing and analysing the impacts, intended or otherwise, (e.g. economic, social, environmental) that might arise. This does not seek to predict but rather to support an exploration of possible impacts and implications that may otherwise remain uncovered and little discussed.

    Reflect – reflecting on the purposes of, motivations for and potential implications of the research, and the associated uncertainties, areas of ignorance, assumptions, framings, questions, dilemmas and social transformations these may bring.

    Engage – opening up such visions, impacts and questioning to broader deliberation, dialogue, engagement and debate in an inclusive way.

    Act – using these processes to influence the direction and trajectory of the research and innovation process itself.


    Resources to help our members to enact the AREA framework that may be of use.

    For Responsible Innovation to take place in a meaningful way, it is important that we nurture and promote partnerships between disciplines and facilitate training to enable these skills to be developed and taken forward. We encourage our members to involve integrated approaches and collaborative research involving social and environmental scientists, ethicists and engagement practitioners.

    Louise Horsfall    louise.horsfall[at]ed.ac.uk
    Tim Overton    t.w.overton[at]bham.ac.uk

    Created by the EFB Team

    Copyright © 2019 European Federation of Biotechnology