Responsible innovation: Managing the responsible emergence of science and innovation in society, by Richard Owen, John Bessant, Maggy Heintz (Eds). (2013). John Wiley & Sons, LTD. Print ISBN. 9781119966364
Developed from the content of a workshop held at the Residence of the French Ambassador in London in May 2011, Responsible Innovation: Managing the Responsible Emergence of Science and Innovation in Society, is a collection of essays by an international cast of academics, administrators, ethicists, and scientists. Accessible for those interested in the trajectory of novelty in technique and technology, the collection is intended for decision makers and policy movers, individuals who need guidance on the unfolding of long term trends rather than specific, near term outcomes. As such, most of the essays will make it clear that they are making pains to stay away from explicit prescriptions for individual problems, and instead setting out to create management frameworks for leadership invested in innovation processes. Responsible Innovation is a textbook meant to be read early in the innovation process, ideally before ethical issues arise. The essays are very well cited and provide a wealth of information for further research. Equipped with the information found within, the text promises the watchdogs of innovative products and processes insight into the question of how innovation can and should be carried out.
Responsible Innovation (RI) as a practice gets several definitions over the course of the text, with general conclusions being as follows: that RI is a pluralistic process balancing a continuum of viewpoints, varying education levels, and degrees of political and economic power; that RI has to balance anticipation of the future with the fact that technology is by definition unanticipated; that the current market-based paradigm that dominates the world economic and political systems means that when (and if) RI appears, it arises out of an organized chaos of competition and marketeering; and finally that RI is a collective commitment to the future. The various characterizations of RI proceed from a growing body of scholarship concerned with diligent stewardship of the research process, from academia to business.
A collection like Responsible Innovation could easily fall into length philosophical and ethical reflection and polemics, or alternatively, stale repetition of various practical approaches already attempted. It is fortunate...