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The Societal Readiness Thinking Tool: A Practical Resource for Maturing the Societal Readiness of Research Projects

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  • Michael J. Bernstein, Austrian Institute of Technology, Arizona State University
  • ,
  • Mathias Wullum Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Emil Alnor
  • André Brasil, Leiden University
  • ,
  • Astrid Lykke Birkving
  • ,
  • Tung Tung Chan, Leiden University
  • ,
  • Erich Griessler, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna
  • ,
  • Stefan de Jong, Tilburg University, University of Chicago, University of Stellenbosch
  • ,
  • Wouter van de Klippe, Leiden University
  • ,
  • Ingeborg Meijer, Leiden University
  • ,
  • Emad Yaghmaei, Delft University of Technology
  • ,
  • Peter Busch Nicolaisen
  • ,
  • Mika Nieminen, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
  • ,
  • Peter Novitzky, Wageningen University & Research
  • ,
  • Niels Mejlgaard

In this paper, we introduce the Societal Readiness (SR) Thinking Tool to aid researchers and innovators in developing research projects with greater responsiveness to societal values, needs, and expectations. The need for societally-focused approaches to research and innovation—complementary to Technology Readiness (TR) frameworks—is presented. Insights from responsible research and innovation (RRI) concepts and practice, organized across critical stages of project-life cycles are discussed with reference to the development of the SR Thinking Tool. The tool is designed to complement not only shortfalls in TR approaches, but also improve upon other efforts to integrate RRI, sustainability, and design thinking in research and innovation cycles. Operationalization and early-stage user tests of the Tool are reported, along with discussion of potential future iterations and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Innovation, Research management, Responsible research and innovation, RRI, Societal Readiness, Technology Readiness Levels, Thinking Tool, TRL, SUSTAINABILITY, POWER, INNOVATION, RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH, FRAMEWORK, SYSTEMS, OUTCOMES, SCIENCE

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