International Workshop in Germany and USA, Tuesday, 17th January 2023

Exploring, challenging, and enhancing the factors that shape inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to governing innovation.

This workshop intends to bring together people who study and engage in science and responsible innovation with a focus on “integration”, meaning the integration of ethical, legal, social aspects and/or the integration of users, stakeholders or “society” into research and innovation processes.

Since there is a wide conceptual landscape of responsible innovation, we aim to interconnect the different communities and find shared challenges and best practices. Therefore, we use the format of an international twin-workshop. The starting point for our thoughts is the three approaches we represent in the organizing team. Thus, we mainly – but not only – address people who work in the field of Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR), Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) or the German funding scheme Integrierte Forschung.

We want to initiate reflection, empowerment, collegial support, research and change regarding the way we live our work of integration. What does your everyday work look like? What do you do, feel, experience as someone who conducts integration work? Which opportunities, tensions, problems do you see? Which factors shape the way you live the work of integration? What could facilitate your work?

Results of the workshop will feed into a session of the conference “Digitalisierte Lebenswelten und integrative Technikentwicklung”, 28th February and 1st March 2023, Mannheim, Germany ( and into a session with different international funding agencies, which fund integration and responsible innovation (summer 2023).


International twin-workshop with:

  • A hybrid event in Phoenix Arizona (US)
  • An on-site event in Bonn (Germany)
  • A shared session, in which both groups meet online


Tuesday, 17th January 2023:

  • In Bonn: 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. (MEZ)
  • In Phoenix: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. (MST)



  • In Bonn: Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V. Reuterstr. 157, 53113 Bonn
  • In Phoenix: Arizona State University


Organizing team:

  • Dr. Mone Spindler, Céline Gressel, Jaqueline Bellon (University Tuebingen, Germany, BMBF-Cluster Integrierte Forschung)
  • Michaela Shields (Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V., Germany)
  • Prof. Erik Fisher (Arizona State University, United States) & Team



BMBF-Cluster Integrierte Forschung (, project ESTER (Ethical and social aspects of integrierte Forschung) (


Contact and Registration:

Please register until 9st December 2022



Throughout the global north, policy makers have increasingly called for collaborative integration in support of the responsible governance of innovation (Fisher 2019; Rodriguez et al. 2013). Interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists, engineers, ethicists, social scientists, legal experts and other disciplines have been set up; transdisciplinary experiments have been conducted with user-driven innovation, citizen science, open source research data, and more; and in various public engagement exercises the public has been involved in discussions and policy decisions regarding science. A shared idea of the different approaches is that some sort of integration is necessary to make innovation processes more responsible.

This has raised considerable debate about relevant issues, adequate methodologies, tools and funding programmes for integration as well as about this particular integration discourse as such. Many of these debates focus on the situated roles and positions of the actors who are expected to perform integration work. Ulrike Felt and colleagues draw attention to the every-day research practices in these contexts by exploring how early stage researchers manoeuver the tensions in this particular “epistemic living spaces” (see Felt et al. 2013). Ana Viseu problematizes the “care work” of social scientists in nanotechnology projects (Viseu 2015). Andrew Balmer and colleagues reflect the roles they took as social scientists when exploring post-ELSI spaces of interdisciplinary collaboration (Balmer et a. 2015). Recent studies also address the role of the body (Smolka et al. 2021) and the role of virtues (Poznic et al. 2021) in interdisciplinary collaboration.

With our workshop we want to bring together people who work in different (international) contexts of responsible innovation. We want to create spaces for critical reflection on our work and our integration contexts, spaces which are often missing in our everyday work. By articulating, sharing, and debating our experiences we want to initiate knowledge transfer, collegial support and political initiative in order to empower each other for negotiating deeper cooperation and better working conditions. The two aims of the workshops are:

·         Focus 1: Initiating research. We will start a collaborative analysis of how we live the work of integration. How do we structure, pursue, and experience „the creation of opportunities…for substantive interchange” (Guston 2014) across various socio-technical divides? How do political, environmental, conceptual, team related, individual, and other factors shape our professional practices? What opportunities, challenges, and tensions do we share?

·         Focus 2: Initiating change. Building upon our analysis, we will start to identify potential for change. What can we learn from each other? (Where) Is it necessary to re-think and re-enact integration? How can we influence the multiple factors that shape our professional practices in order to improve our impact on research and innovation? What do we need from funders? What do funders need from us? What do we want to tell our funders? What could be our next steps?




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Cited literature

Balmer, Andrew; Calvert, Jane; Marris, Claire; Molyneux-Hodgson, Susan; Frow, Emma; Kearnes, Matthew et al. (2015): Taking roles in interdisciplinary collaborations. Reflections on working in post-ELSI spaces in the UK Synthetic Biology Community. In: Science & Technology studies 28 (3), S. 3–25.

Felt, Ulrike, Judith Ingelsböck, Andrea Schikowitz, Thomas Voelker (2013): “Growing into what?” The (un-)disciplined socialisation of early stage researchers in transdisciplinary research. Higher Education 65(4):511-524.

Fisher, Erik (2019): Governing with Ambivalence: The tentative origins of socio-technical integration. Research Policy 48(5): 1138-1149.

Guston, David H. (2014): Understanding ‘Anticipatory Governance’. Social studies of science 44(2): 218-242.

Poznic, Michael; Fisher, Erik (2021): The Integrative Expert: Moral, Epistemic, and Poietic Virtues in Transformation Research. In: Sustainability 13 (18), S. 10416. DOI: 10.3390/su131810416.

Rodriguez, Hannot; Fisher, Erik; Schuurbiers, Daan (2013): Integrating science and society in Eureopean Framework Programmes. Trends in project-level solicitations. In: Research Policy 42 (5), S. 1126–1137.

Smolka, Mareike; Fisher, Erik; Hausstein, Alexandra (2021): From Affect to Action: Choices in Attending to Disconcertment in Interdisciplinary Collaborations. In: Science, Technology, & Human Values 46 (5), S. 1076–1103. DOI: 10.1177/0162243920974088.

Viseu, Ana (2015): Caring for nanotechnology? Being an integrated social scientist. In: Social Studies of Science 45 (5), S. 642-664. DOI: 10.1177/0306312715598666.