Webinar by Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University, "The Ubiquity of Urgency and the Limits of RRI"


Stephen Hilgartner, 

Cornell University


March 14th, 2023

15:00 to 16:00 London time.


Event will be held online

TECHNIS is pleased to invite you to a free webinar. TECHNIS webinars focus on IP and innovation examining recent legal, economic, managerial, ethical and policy issues related to technological innovation. Our approach is interdisciplinary and presentations are given by experts in different fields such as economics, law, management, STS, sociology, anthropology and philosophy. Webinar presentations last for 20min and are followed by a 40min discussion.

Please join us for a webinar on Tuesday the 14th of March 2023 at 15:00 London time i.e. 16:00 Brussels time, 17:00 Athens time. The speaker is Stephen Hilgartner, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University. The title of the talk is “The Ubiquity of Urgency and the Limits of RRI".

This webinar is free and open to all. The moderator is Dr. Andreas PanagopoulosJoin Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 845 9710 7176

Passcode: 526295

NOTE: To participate please contact Andreas Panagopoulos at least an hour prior to the webinar.

AbstractThe exigencies of managing emergencies stand in tension with the goals of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and its vision of wide-ranging anticipation, unfettered reflexivity, stage-gated commitments, and inclusive deliberation. Large-scale emergencies arguably produce especially sharp tensions between urgency and RRI. But a constructivist perspective that asks how situations come to be defined as “urgent” suggests that claims about the urgency of innovation during widely recognized emergencies are the tip of a very large iceberg. Innovation-is-urgent claims are ubiquitous, and actors advance them in a variety of institutional spaces for many reasons. This paper argues that innovation-is-urgent claims play a wide role in constricting—and at times opening up—possibilities for RRI. How, then, do some of these claims become credible and consequential? Under what circumstances do they succeed in narrowing the focus of attention, making time short, winning resource commitments, delegating decisions to small groups, shortcutting normal procedures, and justifying states of exception? This paper explores these questions by examining the control of knowledge in situations defined as urgent. It argues that in such situations, knowledge-control regimes (KCRs) play an important role in shaping the possibilities for the kinds of deliberation that RRI envisions. By KCRs, I refer to legal or lawlike arrangements that configure entitlements and burdens pertaining to knowledge, a category that includes but is not limited to intellectual property regimes.