In the Human Brain Project, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been a guiding principle for development and deployment of the EBRAINS research infrastructure. Part of our effort includes a set of Ethics & Society capacity building resources and training on RRI. To help scientists, science managers and others to understand how responsible research and innovation approaches can support projects and research infrastructures, we have developed an introductory training module that uses RRI as a lens to facilitate reflection on societal and ethical aspects of research infrastructures.

The training gives an overview of the RRI approach by highlighting its history, definitions and the RRI approach within the Human Brain Project, that other initiatives can learn from. We also discuss the tools and resources for responsible innovation in the brain research infrastructure EBRAINS. In addition, we provide a space for deliberation and critical reflection through a number of case studies that are relevant to EBRAINS.

The training consists of an introduction to RRI in the Human Brain Project where Bernd Stahl, Professor of Critical Research in Technology and Ethics Director of the Human Brain Project, discusses the concept of responsible Research and innovation (RRI) and its importance in enabling better science and innovation. In the lecture, he describes RRI and why it is conceived as a way to do research and how it has been applied in the development of EBRAINS.

We also offer hands-on exercises and case studies, with a  collection of cases for the introduction to RRI (pdf), The recorded instruction by Anna Sundby, PhD in Public Health, is available to anyone who wants to use this online resource to critically reflect on their work in the context of brain research and innovation.

The last part of this introductory module presents the Human Brain Project’s RRI capacity development plan, with a recorded lecture by George Ogoh, Research Fellow at De Montfort University. This presentation highlights that the training programme builds on 10 years of experience in applying RRI. It was developed for the Human Brain Project by members of the Ethics and society team, but is open and available to all. The aim of the training programme is to promote responsible innovation, providing you with the skills to anticipate ethical and societal considerations, encourage inclusive discussions with stakeholders and address social concerns associated with brain research.

This introduction is the first in a series of training modules explaining and reflecting on the concept of responsible research and innovation and how this approach can enable better science and innovation. The training covers human and animal data, gender, diversity and inclusion, researcher awareness and research integrity, dual use of concern and misuse ethics and RRI dimensions of knowledge transfer and commercialization, neuroethics, consciousness & AI ethics, and science communication. A module on public engagement and foresight is under development and will be available soon.

Want to know more about Responsible Research and Innovation in the Human Brain Project, more information can be found on the Ethics and Society webpage.

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