RRI-Practice Consortium Meeting in Bristol

16.04.2018

Members of the RRI-Practice Consortium are currently busy finishing their case study reports on the mapping and review of the status of the RRI in the research conducting and research funding organisations. Based on the findings from the analysis of strategic documents and other reports, interviews and focus groups, all teams produced draft reports and met in Bristol to discuss, peer review and synthesise the main findings. The focus of the discussions was on the following two questions: What are the key themes that emerged from the reports and what are the areas of commonality and difference between different national cases?

The discussions were organised in café style groups with 5-6 participants and lasted about 30 minutes, after which participants joined a different group to debate the key themes from other cases. The group deliberations were followed by a plenary session, where each group chair presented the key issues that emerged from the discussions. The RRI-Practice members were joined by Sam Church, a wall scribe who helped visualise and synthesise the discussions, “translating” them into insightful and witty wall illustrations.

Sam Church was not the only external guest at the event. Sally Randles of Manchester Metropolitan University delivered a very important and engaging lecture on “RRI and deep institutionalisation,” building on the insights from the JERRI, SMART-map and Res-AGorA projects.

Mireia Bes Garcia from the University of Bristol’s public engagement team presented the PERFORM project, sharing the experience of using creativity and performing arts to foster young peoples’ motivations and engagement with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Worth checking out is the Invincible video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=71K6h3wg1i8

RRI-Practice coordinator Ellen-Marie Forsberg also contributed an important lecture, presenting insights on organisational theory and RRI, comparing the organisations from neo-institutionalist perspectives of rational, natural and open systems.

On the second day of the meeting, the team members reviewed the input from the group discussions, and formulated some main conclusions about how to use what was learnt to finalise the case study reports and organisational Outlooks.

As the RRI-Project is roughly at the middle of its duration, the consortium also looked forward to the second half of the project and discussed the forthcoming work on cross-national comparison, impact and indicators, and formulation of policy recommendations. Dissemination work, including possibilities for publications and participation in conferences and similar events, were also debated.