Social Life Cycle Assessment as a resource for Responsible Research and Innovation
Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a currently important proposal for doing science and innovation with and for society. Sustainability has for the last 30 years had a similar function in providing limits and direction for societal activities, including science and innovation. In this discussion paper, we ask what RRI can learn from sustainability and how RRI and sustainability can strengthen each other, focusing especially on social sustainability. We suggest that the social life cycle approach of the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry may address the product aspect of RRI, provide resources for governance in the face of the problem of anticipation, facilitate a useful value-chain approach and offer several other benefits in an RRI perspective. Conversely, we show that RRI can complement sustainability models by more specifically addressing the responsibilities of the different actors involved in the research, innovation and marketing process.