The project builds on research focussed on the ethical, legal and social implications of science (particularly genetics), responsible research and innovation, and on scientists’ engagement with publics.
RRI and related approaches have aimed to contribute towards new, diverse and participatory forms of science, and has explored how scientists anticipate, identify and define ‘ethical’ questions and take on or redistribute responsibility. This includes practices of ‘ethical foresight’, anticipatory governance, and consideration of the future ethical implications of new and emerging science and technology that aim to address the ‘Collingridge dilemma’. Those involved in this work have also explored the dynamics of anticipation, the risks of hubris and PR associated with ‘speculative ethics’, and the difficulties associated with bringing both scientists and the public into discussions of the long-term ‘invisible’ implications of scientific developments. The EEDS study will examine the how and when of ethical anticipation. Interview work will explore what scientists think are ‘reasonable’ and ‘timely’ concerns about the future implications of scientific research, what kinds of practices are associated with identifying and anticipating these, and how scientists’ views relate to their field of scientific research.