November 16, 2018

Social Lab 1: European Research Council

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Excellent Science

Social Lab 1 “European Research Council” brings together stakeholders from research including ERC grantees, team members and applicants, research funding organizations and Civil Society Organization – to develop pilot activities which might help to implement elements of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in the ERC and, more generally, in research funding organizations focusing on basic research.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 22-23 May 2018

Place: Vienna, Austria

18 participants:

  • 7 ERC grant holders (natural and social sciences) or working with an IP in an ERC project
  • 3 ERC grant applicants
  • 2 National Contact Points
  • 2 members of Civil Society Organisation in the area of research
  • 2 employees of Research Funding Organisations
  • 1 former ERC panel member (evaluator)

Presentation of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 10 & 11 April 2019

Place: Vienna, Austria

Description of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 23 & 24 January 2020

Place: Vienna, Austria

Description of the workshop

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: RRIish – Website on RRI

The specific ‘RRI’ website will highlight the RRI aspects of the project in an accessible, informative, and interactive way for a wider audience.

The website will give a general introduction to RRI and specify its necessity in relation to EURO-EXPERT. It also comprises blogs by cultural experts and other stakeholders (with possibility of wider participation), podcasts or videos of talks at the department, excerpts of important texts related to the subject of RRI and EURO-EXPERT, a link to the database of cases collected and the tools developed by EURO-EXPERT, and public events of EURO-EXPERT.

The aim of the RRI website is to enter into a wider societal discussion about the project’s findings and the experiences of those affected. It aims to inform and interact with a wider audience about the role of cultural experts in the context of litigation.

With this website, a wider societal discussion should be initiated about the benefits and challenges of cultural expertise in legal settings and the wider questions these raise.

Pilot Action 2: Quadrologue

The Quadrologue is a structured and facilitated dialogue-game

Four people (a researcher, a lay person, a student, a representative of research administration/funding organisation) discuss in a gamified set-up about science and technology and the bigger picture of research. In order to avoid the discussion drifting off the topic, the dialogue is structured and follows a certain format, that is provided by the information material and introduction video.

The Quadrologue provides a format for low-threshold dialogue to discuss the impact of research and innovation on society. By bringing together people who would hardly come together to discuss research in other contexts, the Quadrologue aims to addressing the wider impact of research and opening up to society.

This format is low threshold and does not create a barrier. Giving students the role of a facilitator empowers them and contributes to a discussion on eye level. In order to avoid that the discussion drifts off the topic, the dialogue is structured and follows a certain format. Facilitators will be trained in order to empower them. The Quadrologue lasts 45 minutes and therefore is short enough to fit in every day responsibilities. The Quadrologue can be organized with little financial and organisational effort almost everywhere. There will be a board game designed by the PA hosts to be shared with interested organisations.

The wider impact of research needs to be discussed. There should be discussion between researchers, research funding/administration, students and lay people in order to recognize and address the wider impact of research.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Erich Griessler, head of Techno-Science and Societal Transformation research group, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria – NewHoRRIzon coordinator

Social Lab Manager Assistant: Anna Gerhardus, Staff Scientist at Techno-Science and Societal Transformation research group, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria

Social Lab Facilitator: Christoph Mandl,  Senior Academic Lecturer at School of Business, Economics and Statistics, University of Vienna