Science, Technology, and Society: RRI Course Digital Life Norway

Locations and dates

14–16 September 2020, Solstrand hotel & bad
10–12 March 2021, Selbusjøen hotel  (postponed from December 2020)

Registration is now closed.

Course content

This course prepares PhD candidates and early career researchers within biotechnology, life science and neighbouring scientific fields to adopt Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in their research practice. We introduce the body of academic knowledge underpinning the RRI concept, namely Science and Technology Studies (STS) and history, philosophy and sociology of science. The main course objective is to enhance participants’ knowledge on how scientific work is intertwined with changes in society and to introduce them to ideas of democratization of science and current international discussions on RRI. We will combine theoretical insights with long group discussions and hands-on exercises of applying RRI-methods in the context of participants’ research projects. Discussions on strengths of limitations of the concept of RRI in research practice will be included.

Learning outcome

After completing the course (learning outcome), the students shall

  1. Understand theories that show how science and technology development is neither deterministic nor value-free, and that R&D has enormous potential to redefine the meaning of being human and conditions of human existence.
  2. Understand the way of thinking RRI is based on and know its central dimensions.
  3. Be able to engage in broader debates surrounding their research and address social, ethical, political and economic aspects of their work.
  4. Be able to critically reflect on the R&D system and take part in initiatives for its improvement.

Learning methods and activities

Stipulated course credits: 5 ECTS

  • Mandatory participation in teaching and team assignments.
  • Participants will conduct a comprehensive homework in the form of a hands-on exercise in between the two gatherings as part of the assignment.
  • A written paper (approx. 3,000 words) in which the candidates discusses her or his own research project in light of the course contents

Course participation requires admission to a PhD programme, but post doctors are also welcome to participate.

Course literature will be distributed to participants in due time before the course. 


Roger Strand, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, NTNU & Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen
Gisle Solbu, Centre for Technology and Society, NTNU


The Centre for Digital Life Norway represents a strategic initiative of the Research Council of Norway that aims at fostering innovation and value creation in Norwegian biotechnology. To this end, stimulating the tight cooperation among Norwegian biotechnology communities and the integration of ‘Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)’ as crosscutting principle are envisioned as important pillars in achieving that goal.

Read more about Centre for Digital Life Norway and RRI.

    Published Oct. 12, 2020 4:00 PM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2020 11:38 AM