Responsibility and Freedom

The Ethical Realm of RRI

Volume 2 – Responsible Research and Innovation SET Coordinated by Bernard Reber

Responsibility and Freedom

Robert Gianni, University of Namur, Belgium

ISBN : 9781848218970

Publication Date : February 2016

Hardcover 220 pp

110.00 USD



Responsible Research and Innovation appears as a paradoxical frame, hard to conceptualize and difficult to apply.
If, on the one hand, research and innovation appear to follow logics blind to societal issues, on the other hand responsibility is still a blurred concept interpreted according to circumstances.

Different perspectives are implied in the RRI discourse which also renders its application difficult, because each social dimension proposes a different path for its implementation.

This book will try to indicate how such conflictual understanding of RRI is caused by a reductive interpretation of ethics and, consequently, of responsibility. Drawing on the relevant philosophical literature, the author develops a coherent conceptualization of responsibility and freedom across modernity in order to show how often we adopt a narrow version.

He then proposes an alternative interpretation that connects different layers of responsibility with the correlative freedom. This leads the analysis to promote a complementary approach to ethics in order to face societal challenges. The resulting framework represents an ethical approach to RRI that could help in overcoming conflictual perspectives and construct a multi-layer approach to research and innovation.


1. Responsible Research and Innovation: A New Framework for an Old Controversy.
2. Responsibility: A Modern Concept.
3. Development of Freedom.
4. An Ethical Perspective on Responsibility and Freedom.
5. Framework for the Ethical Assessment of RRI.

About the authors/editors

Robert Gianni is a researcher at the University of Namur in Belgium. His research focuses on Critical Theory and different approaches to the problem of justice with a special attention to its social repercussions.