Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is emerging as a set of principles and practices whose aim is to give greater voice and choice to the interested and affected public well before innovations enter the marketplace or environment.
As genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) become more ubiquitous in agricultural and environmental systems, it will be important for diverse publics to be informed about GEOs, where they occur in the food supply and ecosystem and what the societal impacts are likely to be. Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is emerging as a set of principles and practices to give greater voice and choice to interested and affected publics well upstream of innovations entering the marketplace or environment. Jennifer Kuzma, Ph.D., argues for the need for embedding RRI in innovation systems for emerging biotechnologies and explores the challenges for doing so and addresses the “wicked problem” of how RRI can coexist within biotechnology oversight systems that lean towards the values of innovators, anti-precaution, and techno-optimism.
Kuzma is the Goodnight-NC GSK Foundation Distinguished Professor in the social sciences and co-founder and co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at NC State. Kuzma’s research interests involve the integration of social, policy and natural sciences for emerging technologies’ governance. She has published more than 150 articles and book chapters, and in 2018 she was elected a lifetime fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for distinguished translational work in advancing anticipatory governance of new technologies and contributions to methods for oversight policy analysis.