A recent publication in JMIR research protocols describes the progress of the responsible research and innovation (RRI) project STARBIOS2. The project aims to develop models for how to implement structural changes in bioscience research institutions, to allow them to move towards responsible biosciences. Six institutions participate by developing and implementing their own RRI action plans and the project is expected to have significant impact on their organisational processes and structures.
The six STARBIOS2 partners implementing RRI action plans are working to change organisational structures for public engagement, gender, education, open access and ethics. During the course of the project, they will share what they have learned. Based on their experiences, the project will develop a model for bottom-up approaches to implementing RRI in different kinds of bioscience research institutions.
By interpreting RRI and analysing the value of RRI to the field of bioscience, and in parallel assessing and promoting structural changes in partner institutions, STARBIOS2 will be able to provide tools for other bioscience institutions to do the same. The joint experiences from developing and implementing action plans will be put to the test by an additional three partners in Brazil, South Africa, and the US bringing valuable insights with their international perspective. The technical assistance team, monitoring and assessment team, and communications and dissemination team support the action plan implementation.
“STARBIOS2 results could help researchers make discoveries and innovations in better alignment with societal values and needs” says one of the authors, Professor Vittorio Colizzi from the Department of Biology at the Univeristy of Rome Tor Vergata.
Looking forward, the authors expect STARBIOS2 will have great impact on structures and organisational processes among the partners who implement RRI action plans, positively affecting the uptake of RRI in those institutions. As other organisations implement the guidelines and model, the impact of the knowledge developed by STARIOS2 will increase with time.
The STARBIOS2 approach to RRI takes into account some of the more diverse and complex challenges of bioscience, for example public awareness of epidemics and vaccines, social responsibility for global nutrition, and open access to big data. The project encourages collaboration across disciplinary boundaries and regions, and between scientists and non-scientist. Something the authors believe is necessary to regain the public trust in science, and to introduce novel bioscience findings.
By Anna Holm
Colizzi V, Mezzana D, Ovseiko P, et al., Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIOSciences (STARBIOS2): Protocol for a Horizon 2020 Funded European Multicenter Project to Promote Responsible Research and Innovation, JMIR Research Protocols (preprint), accepted 25 Sept 2018