Reflections on the impact of (playful) deliberation processes in contexts of responsible research and innovation

part of Beyond dissemination — science communication as impact

This commentary shares a personal ‘learning curve’ of a science communication researcher about the impact of (playful) tools and processes for inclusive deliberation on emerging techno-scientific topics in the contemporary era of two-way science and technology communication practices; needed and desired in responsible research and innovation (RRI) contexts. From macro-level impacts that these processes are supposed to have on research and innovation practices and society, as encouraged by the RRI community, the author discovers more about ‘micro-level’ impacts; through conversations with peers of her department Athena (VU University, Amsterdam), as well as through experiencing the SiP 2015 conference in Bristol. Based on that, she defines several ‘impact-spheres’: a modular set of flexibly defined micro-level impacts that events in RRI contexts can have on both academic and non-academic participants, with respect and relationship development as focal assets to aim for; individual (micro-)changes that potentially build up towards an ‘RRI world’.