Professor Richard Owen
Associate Dean of Research and Knowledge Transfer and Chair Responsible Innovation
Richard’s research involves understanding concepts of responsibility in the context of innovation as a collective, uncertain and future-oriented activity. He studies how innovation (and science) might be governed and stewarded towards societally desirable and acceptable ends, the challenges, tensions and opportunities this brings, and how responsibilities are perceived and distributed. His research is strongly interdisciplinary, with a continuous emphasis on practice – he has worked closely with the UK Research Councils and others in this regard, being funded by ESRC and EPSRC to develop a framework for responsible innovation based on dimensions of anticipation, reflection, deliberation and responsiveness. He is currently investigating its further development and application in diverse areas of emerging science and innovation, from geoengineering and nanotechnologies to finance and synthetic biology . His research group is researching concepts that include the cultural framing of responsibility, the governance of financial innovation, horizon scanning, innovation of sustainable business models and eco-innovation at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ – how some of the World’s poorest people are innovating to rise to the challenges of resource scarcity and sustainability. He is increasingly fascinated by the ambiguous concept of responsibility itself, what this means to people, and how it shapes our lives and futures.
Richard is a strategic advisor to EPSRC and co-ordinates the RCUK Environmental Nanoscience Initiative (www.nerc.ac.uk/research/programmes/nanoscience/
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