The nascent field known as “responsible innovation” now has its own publication.
The Journal of Responsible Innovation will offer practitioners and scholars a place to articulate, strengthen, and critique perspectives about the role of responsibility in research and development. It intends to provide a forum for discussions of ethical, social, and government issues related to innovation.
David Guston, director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University and co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, is the journal’s founding editor-in-chief. The journal will publish three issues each year, beginning in early 2014.
Guston wants to create a place where issues related to innovation can be discussed. “Part of the reason we’re doing this journal is to bring together a community to sort out questions about responsible innovation,” Guston told Design News. “There is a variety of definitions of responsible innovation to guide how research gets done. Those definitions may include particular social values or environmental sustainability.” Guston noted, "we need to encourage people to think about the future and exercise their moral imagination."
The term “responsible innovation” is often associated with emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, synthetic biology, geo-engineering, and artificial intelligence. These areas have a potentially revolutionary influence on society. Responsible innovation represents an attempt to think through the ethical and social complexities of these technologies before they become mainstream.
Guston sees the publication as a blend of theory and practice. “The journal will look at the nature of responsibility and how to innovate with responsibility,” Guston told us. “We may include case studies where responsible innovation is used.” He noted that the journal will bring various disciplines together. “We’ll have sections on education, on engineering ethics, and responsible research. There are lots of places that do training on these issues, but we don’t share with one another,” he said.
The journal, published by Taylor & Francis, will present traditional journal articles and research reports, as well as reviews and perspectives on current political, technical, and cultural events. It will present authors from the social sciences and the natural sciences, from ethics and engineering, and from law, design, business, and other fields.
Now accepting manuscripts
The journal is now soliciting submissions from scholars and practitioners interested in research questions and public issues related to responsible innovation. Click here for more information about the journal and the submission process.