The hermeneutic side of responsible research and innovation

TitleThe hermeneutic side of responsible research and innovation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGrunwald, A
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Date Published2014/09/02
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number2329-9460
AbstractThe word 'hermeneutics' has been be used repeatedly in the scientific debates on responsible research and innovation (RRI). In this paper I present the thesis that this omnipresence is no coincidence. Rather, technology assessment (TA) exercises, reflections in applied ethics, and studies of the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) must necessarily involve hermeneutic effort, in particular in the field of new and emerging sciences and technologies (NEST). The main objective of hermeneutic analysis is uncovering the (frequently controversial) meanings that are attributed to NEST and that mold the RRI debates. The subjects of hermeneutic analysis are in particular technological futures and visions because they are of major importance to attribute meaning to NEST. The goal of this paper is, in the sense of a hermeneutic turn, to no longer treat the understanding of the possible meanings of NEST in the RRI debates as a secondary feature, but to put them at the focus of analysis and reflection. In order to develop a concept of ?hermeneutic orientation? to achieve this I reflect programmatically on the fields of study and methods that a hermeneutic analysis of techno-futures and visions should embody. This closes a blind spot in the previous RRI debates.