Symposium: Antipodean perspectives on Responsible Innovation
Organised by the Australian National University (ANU), the University of Queensland (UQ), and Charles Darwin University (CDU) Research Programs on Responsible Innovation
Efforts to rethink and reinvent responsible innovation are gathering steam (Fisher 2020a, 2020b). In this Symposium, we invite prospective authors to build on these openings to imagine, describe and probe the possibilities and practices of responsible innovation from Antipodean perspectives. We are looking to edit a Special Issue of the Journal of Responsible Innovation on the basis of Symposium contributions. If you’re interested but unable to attend the Symposium, please drop us an email (contact details of organisers below) and we’re happy to discuss.
We intend the Antipodean label to signal not only a geographical setting, but a way of thinking and seeing (‘perspective’).
From a view of the Antipodes as geographical signifier, papers might explore how responsible innovation has been – or might be – developed, understood, transformed and reinvented in the settler-colonial societies of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Here, we invite historical and contemporary accounts of efforts to reposition scientific and technological research through engagement with a variety of societal perspectives, cultural knowledge-systems, alternative expertise, or representative norms such as openness (Lacey et al 2020), anticipation (Guston 2008), or reflexivity and inclusion (Stilgoe et al 2013). Authors might draw on research in the Antipodes that is explicitly styled in the tradition of responsible innovation (RI) or responsible research and innovation (RRI) (Owen and Pansera 2019; von Schomberg and Hankins 2019), or explore the interface between RI/RRI and relevant precursors/parallel movements such as participatory design (Nordmann 2019), inclusive innovation (Fressoli et al 2014) and transdisciplinarity (Wickson and Carew 2014).
Recent empirical works published in the Journal of Responsible Innovation on meanings of RI/RRI in Australia (Ashworth et al, 2019; Lacey et al 2020) serve as reference points for new contributions. Likewise, earlier work on public engagement and dialogue around emerging technologies raised a number of questions on similarities and differences between Australia, New Zealand, the US and European countries (Bowman & Hodge 2007; Goven 2003, 2006; Petersen & Bowman 2012) that bear revisiting from an RI lens. Australian researchers have also contributed conceptual frameworks for RI work, notably, around the public interest and public good (Bowman & Hodge 2007; Roberson et al 2021) which are ripe for further development in conversation with new visions of pragmatic empirical engagements with science (Neale 2019).
From a perspectival lens, papers might be inspired by the Antipodes as a place for reinventing RI by thinking “from elsewhere” as scholars have done in relation to other subjects such as biosecurity (see Clark 2013). For example, the Antipode Book Series describes the “antipodal” stance as thinking from “various margins, limits or borderlands”. Rather than necessarily take experiences in the global North as reference point for RI, where might an Antipodean stance lead us in terms of conceptualising RI (see also Pandey et al 2020)? What are the prospects of the ‘new world disorder’ for shaping regional alliances and approaches to responsible innovation? For example, how might the space “between the two Leviathans” (Harris 2020) produce new thinking? What do the distinctive COVID-19-induced closures in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand suggest for thinking about other sorts of closures invoked by RI including the feasibility of ‘responsible stagnation’ (de Saille and Medvecky 2016)?
In exploring such questions, we encourage papers to consider opportunities as well as tensions in bringing Antipodean perspectives to bear on RI. For example, European RI/RRI imaginings of ‘collective care for the future’ or ‘public engagement’ around emerging technologies may be enhanced or altogether troubled by visions of decolonial futures which are first and foremost about transforming enduring power relations (Neale et al 2019). Recent work in Australia also shows that assumptions about so-called ‘traditional’ ecological knowledge (Ludwig and Macnaghten 2020) may conflict with Indigenous peoples’ own perspectives on the kind of knowledge that is important for adapting to environmental change (Nursey-Bray et al 2020). The borders between these different imaginings offer fertile ground for approaching responsible innovation anew.
Likewise, independent of Euro-American traditions of RI/RRI, scholars in Aotearoa New Zealand have been pioneering transdisciplinary conversations to explore ways to ensure that scientific research agendas reflect the interests of Mãori communities (Muru-Lanning 2018) and to promote connections between science and Mãtauranga Mãori or Mãori knowledge (Mercier 2018). We invite papers on the story of Aotearoa New Zealand’s research policy framework, Vision Mãtauranga, and its relevance for RI/RRI, as well as narratives of Indigenous-led approaches to innovation and deployment of new technologies. The contribution of a diverse 2019 Bioethics panel to examining the challenges of a broadly framed grand challenge (of Biodiversity and the vision of a ‘Predator free New Zealand’) may generate insights for re-framing RI/RRI in terms of the problems that innovation is meant to solve as opposed to the future of specific technologies.
Similarly in Australia, researchers are working on a range of projects on environmental change; Indigenous-led design of digital applications and AI; precision health; synthetic biology; quantum computing; robotics; etc. Some of this work is happening under the rubric of responsible innovation (e.g., the CSIRO Future Science Platform on Responsible Innovation; collaborations between CSIRO, Charles Darwin University, University of Queensland and ANU on RI) while other research has distinctive RI features without necessarily invoking that label. The TopEnd STS program is pioneering new ways of doing STS research which could in turn generate novel insights on doing RI.
Against this background, we encourage contributions that investigate, for example:
- The significance of settler-colonial relations, decolonial imaginaries and Indigenous peoples’ perspectives for responsible innovation/responsible research and innovation;
- Synergies and differences between Europe, the US, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand concerning RI or RRI, and new insights for reinventing RI that emerge at these borders;
- Concepts, frameworks and techniques of relevance to RI as they have emerged and been deployed in the context of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand;
- Case studies around RI and RI-like practices and projects in the region including precursor and parallel movements of relevance to RI aspirations;
- Ways of reinventing RI that trouble conventional ways of imagining knowledge as separate from culture, or innovation as technological solution to a biophysical problem (e.g., environmental change, pandemics).
How to submit
Please submit a ~200-250 word abstract by 11 June 2021 to A/Prof Sujatha Raman (email@example.com), Dr Amelia Radke (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Tara Roberson (email@example.com).
Formats for presentations at the Symposium are flexible. We welcome panels, solo talks, roundtables, and more! If you’d like to enquire about a specific format, please get in touch before June 11.
We also invite practice-informed submissions from professionals whose work engages with responsible innovation themes. Practice insights should highlight relevant experiences, projects or products that exemplify good practice or lessons learned in the Antipodean context. For practice-informed insights, please submit a ~200 word abstract to the emails above.
Successful applicants will be notified by 23 June as to whether their abstracts have been accepted for the Symposium.
If you would like to discuss a potential contribution or informal abstracts before this date, please contact the organisers.
This symposium is organised by Amelia Radke (University of Queensland Centre for Policy Futures), Tara Roberson (University of Queensland; ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems), Sujatha Raman (Australian National University Centre for the Public Awareness of Science; Associate Editor, Journal of Responsible Innovation), and Allison Fish (University of Queensland Centre for Policy Futures).
Please note that we’ve changed the submission date to June 11. We’ve also reduced the word count of the abstracts to 200-250 and added in some details on flexible for formats and content. If you have any questions, please let us know!
Ashworth, P., Lacey, J., Sehic, S., & Dowd, A. M. (2019). Exploring the value proposition for RRI in Australia. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 6(3), 332-339.
Bowman, D. M., & Hodge, G. A. (2007). Nanotechnology and public interest dialogue: Some international observations. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 27(2), 118-132.
Clark, N. (2013). Mobile life: biosecurity practices and insect globalization. Science as Culture, 22(1), 16-37.
de Saille, S., & Medvecky, F. (2016). Innovation for a steady state: a case for responsible stagnation. Economy and Society, 45(1), 1-23.
Fisher, E. (2020a). Necessary conditions for responsible innovation. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7(2), 145-148.
Fisher, E. (2020b). Reinventing responsible innovation. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7(1), 1-5.
Fressoli, M., Around, E., Abrol, D., Smith, A., Ely, A., & Dias, R. (2014). When grassroots innovation movements encounter mainstream institutions: implications for models of inclusive innovation. Innovation and Development, 4(2): 277-292.
Goven, J. (2003). Deploying the consensus conference in New Zealand: Democracy and de-problematization. Public Understanding of Science, 12(4), 423-440.
Goven, J. (2006). Processes of inclusion, cultures of calculation, structures of power: scientific citizenship and the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 31(5), 565-598.
Guston, D. H. (2008). Innovation policy: not just a jumbo shrimp. Nature, 454(7207), 940-941.
Harris, P. (2020). Between the LEVIATHANS. Issues in Science and Technology, 36(3), 75-79.
Lacey, J., Coates, R., & Herington, M. (2020). Open science for responsible innovation in Australia: understanding the expectations and priorities of scientists and researchers. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7(3), 427-449.
Ludwig, D., & Macnaghten, P. (2020) Traditional ecological knowledge in innovation governance: a framework for responsible and just innovation, Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7:1, 26-44.
Mercier, O. R. (2018). Mātauranga and science. New Zealand science review, 74(4), 83-90.
Muru-Lanning, M. (2018). Multidisciplinary research collaborations, Vision Mātauranga science and the potential of anthropology in Aotearoa-New Zealand. Commoning Ethnography 1(1): 137-141
Neale, T. (2019). A Sea of Gamba: Making Environmental Harm Illegible in Northern Australia. Science as Culture, 28(4), 403-426.
Neale, T., Carter, R., Nelson, T., & Bourke, M. (2019). Walking together: a decolonising experiment in bushfire management on Dja Dja Wurrung country. Cultural geographies, 26(3), 341-359.
Nordmann, A. (2019). The ties that bind: collective experimentation and participatory design as paradigms for responsible innovation. In R. Von Schomberg & J. Hankins (Eds.), International Handbook on Responsible Innovation. A global resource. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Nursey-Bray, M., Palmer, R., Stuart, A., Arbon, V., & Rigney, L. I. (2020). Scale, colonisation and adapting to climate change: Insights from the Arabana people, South Australia. Geoforum, 114, 138-150.
Owen, R., & Pansera, M. (2019). Responsible Innovation and Responsible Research and Innovation. In D. Simon, S. Kuhlmann, J. Stamm & W. Canzler (Eds.), Handbook on Science and Public Policy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Pandey, P., Valkenburg, G., Mamidipudi, A., & Bijker, W. (2020). Responsible Research and Innovation in the Global South. Science, Technology, and Society, 25(2), 215-222.
Petersen, A., & Bowman, D. (2012). Engaging whom and for what ends? Australian stakeholders’ constructions of public engagement in relation to nanotechnologies. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, 12(2), 67-79.
Roberson, T., Leach, J., & Raman, S. (2021). Talking about public good for the second quantum revolution: analysing quantum technology narratives in the context of national strategies. Quantum Science and Technology, 6(2), 025001.
Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy, 42(9), 1568-1580.
Von Schomberg, R., & Hankins, J. (2019). Introduction to the international handbook on responsible innovation. In R. Von Schomberg & J. Hankins (Eds.), International Handbook on Responsible Innovation. A global resource. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Wickson, F., & Carew, A.L. (2014). Quality criteria and indicators for responsible research and innovation: learning from transdisciplinarity. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 1(3), 254-273.