It is the ambition of WUR to tackle society’s ‘grand challenges’ within its domain, but what is the way in which we do our research up to this task? A team of researchers of the Social Sciences Group has investigated this question in the context of the Horizon 2020 RRI Practice project. They argue that the ‘complex’ or ‘wicked’ nature of those problems require a different approach to research than the one researchers are often incentivised to follow. Where WUR’s annual evaluations and tenure-track requirements focus on ‘disciplinary excellence’, the presenters see that the grand challenges require a research process that anticipates social and ethical consequences of innovations, that engages inclusively with societal stakeholders, that allows researchers to reflect on their own interests and values, and that is responsive to insights emerging during the research procedure.
In this session Philip MacNaghten and Auke Pols present their findings and Wouter Hendriks, Dean of Research, amongst others, will reflect upon the presentation. We want to invite you to think along on how WUR can adapt its research processes to better realise its ambition. Jack van der Vorst, General Director SSG WUR, will be the host of this session.