December 17, 2018

Social Lab 2: Future and Emerging Technologies (FET)

What is a Social Lab?


Horizon 2020 pillar: Excellent Science

Description of FET Programme

FET is an EUR 2.69 billion programme of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation (R&I) framework programme 8 (FP8). The FET programme line sits within the Excellent Science pillar of H2020, and aspires, “To foster radically new technologies with the potential to open new fields for scientific knowledge and technologies and contribute to the European next generation industries, by exploring novel and high-risk ideas building on scientific foundations.”

Potential benefits of RRI for FET Programme Participants

FET offers a proving ground for addressing concerns with gender inequality in STEM fields. Addressing aspirations of Open Science are also endemic to FET, as rapid and early access to knowledge could be of great value to the progression of cutting-edge research. Consideration of education and science literacy are also natural for the FET programme, given its interest in cultivating a curious, capable, and responsible pool of future researchers in Europe. A general FET culture of pushing against technology paradigms in radical ways opens room for rich public engagement; broader reflection on values shaping technologies; and anticipation of potential consequences of blue-sky technology development.

Social Lab Aspirations

Social Lab 2 mobilizes a range of people associated with FET across Europe, including national research managers, professors, artists, labour and industry representatives, and policy officials. Participants share a common mission to learn about and enhance responsible research and innovation in FET R&I.

Social Lab workshops

Workshop 1

Date: 24-25 May 2018

Place: Tromsø, Norway

Description of the workshop

Workshop 2

Date: 12 & 13 March 2019

Place: Tromsø, Norway

Brief overview of the workshop

Workshop 3

Date: 4 & 5 March 2020

Place: Tromsø, Norway

Description of the workshop

Pilot actions

Pilot Action 1: EthicsRRI

This pilot action investigates the question of the importance of non-regulatory / non-conventional ethics and research integrity issues in European Public Research Organizations to look beyond standard ethics regulatory issues and processes.

Conseuantly, this action carries out a situational analysis of the importance of non-regulatory / non-conventional ethics and research integrity issues in European Public Research Organizations.

Pilot Action 2: Quantun Rebels

To cross the psychological barriers and challenge established habits, the workshop should be easily accessible and not too time consuming, organized back-to-back with a meeting that is already planned. If successful, it can be iterated in a wider part of the Q-community (Quantera, national programs and institutes, etc). Subsequent follow-up actions could also be envisaged possibly with the support of the Quantum CSA (e.g., gender plan, training, annual survey…).

This pilot action aims at organizing a workshop on best practices in leadership for principal investigators within the EU Quantum Flagship program. Quantum tech field has for a long time been rather traditional in its culture towards leadership: masculine, competitive, control oriented, result driven, arrogant, “I” over “we”, etc and the field is very unbalanced in terms of gender. With a new generation of leaders in quantum technologies in Europe, there is a great opportunity to modernize this culture and avoid the risk of repeating it.

Pilot Action 3: Yggdrasil

This pilot action aims at hosting a transdisciplinary expedition with scientific research projects.

It has been planned in a way to organize a 1-day activity in Munich in a park under a tree to go through an interaction that would help form guidelines for future transdisciplinary exchanges.

Managers and facilitators

Social Lab Manager: Michael Bernstein, Scientist, GenØk, Tromsø, Norway

Social Lab Facilitator: Fern Wickson, Senior Scientist, GenØk, Tromsø, Norway