Science is a part of society and co-evolves with it. However, science-society relationships are deeply changing, and biosciences are at the core of these changes. Transformations in post-modern societies and in science production pose new governance challenges which RRI, or similar approaches, can certainly contribute to face. This is perhaps all the more true in this period of great emergency related to COVID-19, and will probably also be true in a later period.
STARBIOS2 project experience aimed at producing RRI institutional or “structural” changes in several bioscience organizations. Based on this experience, RRI mainstreaming is suggested, as focused on four levels of contextualization”: organizational, disciplinary/sectoral, geopolitical/ cultural and historical ones.
This text is a strategic document, intended as a tool for reflection within the final phase of the STARBIOS2 project. This document aims to accompany the final activities of the project, providing a series of elements on the current relationship between science and society, highlighting some issues on responsible research and innovation in the field of biosciences and identifying some challenges for the future. It should be emphasized that this Strategic Document, essentially focused on some important issues that have been at the core of STARBIOS2 during all its 4 years of activity. However, the text is completed and disseminated in the final months of the project, just as the COVID-19 pandemic is underway. We are therefore aware that this pandemic challenges not only our societies, political systems, economic systems, but also the biosciences themselves, today and in the future, in their ability to play a key public role, to share information and to produce relevant knowledge.
1. Transformations in the relationships between science and society
1.1 A changing society
1.2 A science in transformation
1.3 The governance of the new science-society relationship
2. Responsible research in the STARBIOS2 experience