Synthese 198 (Suppl 19):4685-4710 (2018)

The responsible research and innovation framework seeks to bring science closer to society, with scientific research conducted not just for the benefit of society, but with role players in society engaging with scientists on research and innovation at every stage. A central focus of the RRI framework is the approach taken to embed these concepts in the higher education training of science students. In this study the direct engagement between science students and the public is explored as an opportunity for achieving RRI learning outcomes. The study also explores the potential benefits that such direct engagement with the public holds for postgraduate biotechnology students. The case study described here suggests that even brief interactions with the public through science engagement activities such as “Speed-Date-a-Scientist” can contribute towards affirmation of choice of career, students’ motivation as researchers and shaping of their identity as scientists, important processes in their own learning to become scientists. Students also indicated a greater sense of motivation to do research that benefits the public, resonating with RRI learning outcomes.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-02063-y
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