PRO-Ethics Theoretical Framework:
Ethics of Participation in European Research and Innovation


PRO-Ethics Theoretical Framework:
Ethics of Participation in European Research and Innovation

In the course of PRO-Ethics’ exploration of participatory practices in innovation processes, the Theoretical framework (D1.2) is the first publicly disseminated systemic study of PRO-Ethics, setting the ground of the PRO-Ethics project’s rationale. This study offers a critical review of literature and practices related to ethics and participatory practices in innovation, defining the framing of ethics of participation applied to innovation processes.

Possible pathways for ethics of participation

Taking stock of the overall blurred vision that R&I literature and practices manifest in regards with participation, this critical review faces this challenge by opening up the meanings of participation and offering a multi-layered approach, combining theoretical considerations with policy-making and empirical forms, in a pluralist approach. As such, this comprehensive methodical approach does not provide an exhaustive overview but aims at clarifying the various levels, through a critical review of existing positions and possibilities.

Towards future guidelines and indicators

The way ethics and participatory practices interact in the field of research and innovation (R&I ) is far from self-evident, especially when the field of citizen or public participation is widened to a more granular approach to participants, to modes and outcomes of participation, which are part of this theoretical framework. What would be the framing and the features of ethics of participation in publicly funded R&I? How, inversely, could participatory practices align with ethical challenges? To what extent are current funding schemes and policy-making in ethics and participation sketching the contours of ethics of participation? Beyond the well-trodden yet complex territory of citizen participation, what other forms of participatory processes could be potentially considered and related to ethics of participation? What would be the main added value of ethics of participation in innovation processes and how could quality criteria be applied to undertake efficient initiatives?

The PRO-Ethics Theoretical Framework can be downloaded here.

Read the full version of this news article here.

By Kalli Giannelos and Bernard Reber

Published 04.09.2020