Responsible innovation as a critique of technology assessment

Harro van Lente*, Tsjalling Swierstra, Pierre-Benoit Joly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The notion of 'responsible innovation' has become fashionable amongst policy-makers and knowledge institutes. In the new Horizon 2020, calls of the EU 'responsible research and innovation' (RRI) figures prominently as a condition and an aim in itself. The rise of RRI shows considerable overlap with the aims, philosophies and practices of Technology Assessment (TA). The overlap, though, is not perfect and this raises questions about how RRI relates to TA. While it is plausible to interpret the relationship as RRI being a sequel of TA ambitions, we explore an alternative interpretation: RRI as a critique of TA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-261
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2017


  • Responsible innovation
  • technology assessment
  • ethics
  • stakeholders


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