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Absent, yet present? Moving with ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ in radiation protection research

By Michiel Van Oudheusden, Catrinel Turcanu and Susan Molyneux-Hodgson


Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) remains an essentially contested concept, yet potentially facilitates the development of a substantial network comprising actors with a variety of roles, expectations, and stakes, including researchers across technical and social sciences and humanities. Although the notion of RRI is absent in research programs for nuclear research and development (R&D), it is nonetheless recognized by various stakeholders in nuclear fields. In this commentary, we draw on our experiences as embedded science and technology studies (STS) scholars in the burgeoning nuclear subfield of radiation protection, singling out instances where RRI is discussed among R&D managers, scientists and technologists, and social science and humanities (SSH) researchers. Our exploration highlights recurring challenges and opportunities in introducing RRI into the radiation protection research space which pertain to: the strong evaluative connotation of RRI and its top-down character; the lack of industry involvement in RRI processes; and the hybridization of SSH through inter- and transdisciplinary research. Our analysis urges us to consider how RRI facilitates STS movement in the nuclear arena through the formation of relationships with radiation protection stakeholders and with SSH colleagues, and through the transferal of methods, concepts, and practices across research domains.Peer reviewe

Topics: Collaboration, Hybridization, Nuclear science and technology, Radiation protection, Social sciences and humanities, Social & behavioral sciences, psychology :: Sociology & social sciences, Sciences sociales & comportementales, psychologie :: Sociologie & sciences sociales
Publisher: 'Informa UK Limited'
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1080/23299460.2018.1457403
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