Published earlier in the not-so-formal weekly of my department.
In this research project, a novel type of Li-Ion battery is developed. More specifically, the carbon (graphite) that is conventionally used as the battery anode, is replaced by silica harvested from the exoskeleton of Diatom algae. As a social scientist, I am on board the project team. The social-scientific part of the project engages with the question how such an innovation project can be managed according to principles of responsible research and innovation. To this end, we will use methodologies for action research and stakeholder engagements, en devise new methods as needed.
What is a concept, and what do social scientists do with it?
Researchers are pulled in various, sometimes contradictory directions by the multiplication of performance metrics and new incentives to align with societal needs. Management structures, funding systems, and publication practices are increasingly influenced by pressures to promote only the highest quality science, and by models and incentives for academic advancement that would produce this highest quality.