Research and innovation play a key role in the shaping of contemporary societies and creating their possible futures. New technologies transform how we communicate, travel, work and think. They alter the economy and commodity production, as well as medicine, governance, and teaching and learning practices. Technological developments, including the anticipated ‘Industry/Society 4.0’, have immense benefits and promises to offer, but also usher in new risks and threats. In this context, the idea of ‘responsible research and innovation’, which is making headway in European science policy, recognises that technological transformations have inherent social, political and ethical dimensions. This calls for societal engagement and public participation in the shaping of technological developments. The conference will address how the governance of research and innovation and science communication can support public values and the socially robust progress of democratic societies.
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