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The Hague, Netherlands

Boenink M.,University of Twente | Swierstra T.,Maastricht University | Stemerding D.,Rathenau Instituut
Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology | Year: 2010

During the last decades several tools have been developed to anticipate the future impact of new and emerging technologies. Many of these focus on 'hard,' quantifiable impacts, investigating how novel technologies may affect health, environment and safety. Much less attention is paid to what might be called 'soft' impacts: the way technology influences, for example, the distribution of social roles and responsibilities, moral norms and values, or identities. Several types of technology assessment and of scenario studies can be used to anticipate such soft impacts. We argue, however, that these methods do not recognize the dynamic character of morality and its interaction with technology. As a result, they miss an important opportunity to broaden the scope of social and political deliberation on new and emerging technologies. In this paper we outline a framework for building scenarios that enhance the techno-moral imagination by anticipating how technology, morality and their interaction might evolve. To show what kind of product might result from this framework, a scenario is presented as an exemplar. This scenario focuses on developments in biomedical nanotechnology and the moral regime of experimenting with human beings. Finally, the merits and limitations of our framework and the resulting type of scenarios are discussed. © 2010 Berkeley Electronic Press. All rights reserved. Source


Stemerding D.,Rathenau Instituut | Nahuis R.,Saxion University
New Genetics and Society | Year: 2014

Valorization of knowledge has been defined as a major challenge in the context of genomics as an emerging strategic research field. Valorization is a Dutch science-policy concept for what is elsewhere called science impact or the third mission of universities. This article describes the institutionalization of valorization policy in the Dutch genomics research system as a specific manifestation of a changing social contract between science and society, which mainly targets economic value creation and the stimulation of entrepreneurship. A societal debate has emerged in which this focus on economic aspects has been strongly criticized as one-sided. In response, policy-makers are willing to adopt a broader definition of valorization. On the basis of an analysis of valorization policies and practices in Dutch medical genomics, this article draws attention to two myths in this valorization debate. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source


Zeiss R.,Maastricht University | Van Egmond S.,Rathenau Instituut
Science in Context | Year: 2014

This article studies the roles three science-based models play in Dutch policy and decision making processes. Key is the interaction between model construction and environment. Their political and scientific environments form contexts that shape the roles of models in policy decision making. Attention is paid to three aspects of the wider context of the models: a) the history of the construction process; b) (changes in) the political and scientific environments; and c) the use in policy processes over longer periods of time. Models are more successfully used when they are constructed in a stable political and scientific environment. Stability and certainty within a scientific field seems to be a key predictor for the usefulness of models for policy making. The economic model is more disputed than the ecology-based model and the model that has its theoretical foundation in physics and chemistry. The roles models play in policy processes are too complex to be considered as straightforward technocratic powers. © 2014 Cambridge University Press. Source


de Jong S.P.L.,Leiden University | Wardenaar T.,PNO Consultants | Horlings E.,Rathenau Instituut
Research Policy | Year: 2016

Scientists have long since become accustomed to explaining the future value of their work. Nowadays token statements are no longer sufficient. Societal impact must be embedded in the organisation of research. The call for societal impact is most explicitly expressed in and actively shaped by transdisciplinary research programmes. We have examined two questions related to compliance in the principal-agent relation between a programme and its projects. The first question concerns the risk of moral hazard: is societal actor involvement a token activity or a substantial component of the research process? The second question relates to possible adverse selection: does societal actor involvement produce the expected benefits and, if so, under which conditions? We surveyed members and project leaders of 178 projects in two transdisciplinary climate research programmes in The Netherlands. There is no reason to suspect large-scale moral hazard. Projects formally labelled as transdisciplinary have characteristics typically associated with transdisciplinarity but academic projects share those characteristics. Neither is there reason to suspect adverse selection. The archetypical properties of transdisciplinary research are associated with the expected societal benefits. An important finding is that there are different types of benefit, each of which requires its own approach. Benefit is achieved through informal involvement and a diversity of outputs, and much less by giving societal actors a prominent role or influence in the research process. Based on our conclusions we recommend customizing the design of climate research programmes and projects towards the needs of the specific societal benefits they aim to generate and reconsidering the emphasis on formal involvement of societal actors in funding procedures. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source


Bornmann L.,ETH Zurich | Leydesdorff L.,University of Amsterdam | Van den Besselaar P.,Rathenau Instituut | Van den Besselaar P.,VU University Amsterdam
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2010

Combining different data sets with information on grant and fellowship applications submitted to two renowned funding agencies, we are able to compare their funding decisions (award and rejection) with scientometric performance indicators across two fields of science (life sciences and social sciences). The data sets involve 671 applications in social sciences and 668 applications in life sciences. In both fields, awarded applicants perform on average better than all rejected applicants. If only the most preeminent rejected applicants are considered in both fields, they score better than the awardees on citation impact. With regard to productivity we find differences between the fields. While the awardees in life sciences outperform on average the most preeminent rejected applicants, the situation is reversed in social sciences. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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