Teaching Responsible Research and Innovation: A Phronetic Perspective


Across the European research area and beyond, efforts are being mobilized to align research and innovation processes and products with societal values and needs, and to create mechanisms for inclusive priority setting and knowledge production. A central concern is how to foster a culture of “Responsible Research and Innovation” (RRI) among scientists and engineers. This paper focuses on RRI teaching at higher education institutions. On the basis of interviews and reviews of academic and policy documents, it highlights the generic aspects of teaching aimed at invoking a sense of care and societal obligation, and provides a set of exemplary cases of RRI-related teaching. It argues that the Aristotelian concept of phronesis
can capture core properties of the objectives of RRI-related teaching activities.

Teaching should nurture the students’ capacity in terms of practical wisdom, practical ethics, or administrative ability in order to enable them to act virtuously and responsibly in contexts which are often characterized by uncertainty, contention, and controversy.


Science and Engineering Ethics. Springer Nature:
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Niels Mejlgaard1 · Malene Vinther Christensen1 · Roger Strand2 · Ivan Buljan3 · Mar Carrió4 · Marta Cayetano i Giralt5 · Erich Griessler6 · Alexander Lang6 · Ana Marušić3 · Gema Revuelta7 · Gemma Rodríguez4 · Núria Saladié7 · Milena Wuketich6
Publication year: 


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government