Preparing for new solar cells through integrated research: challenges in translating social robustness into the selection of materials
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Original versionBowman, Diana M; Dijkstra, Anne; Fautz, Camilo; Guivant, Julia; Konrad, Kornelia; van Lente, Harro; Woll, Silvia [Eds.] Practices of Innovation and Responsibility: ingsights from methods, governance and action p. 181-196, IOS Press, 2015
Research policy and research councils increasingly demand responsible innovation and socially robust knowledge. But what does that imply? Theories say little about how to translate social robustness into practice. In this chapter, we report from an integrated project on solar cells where Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects (ELSA) oriented scholars interacted with material scientists. The aim of the project was twofold. First, to achieve social robustness in the selection of materials for new solar cells. Second, to enact socially robust research. This chapter shows how considerations for novel solar cell materials widened from toxicity and efficiency considerations to a broader set of considerations. The latter contributes to the Science and Technology Studies and ELSA communities. In particular, we suggest transgressing laboratory-based engagement studies by introducing a use perspective through methods such as what we call dialogue meetings. For this, we have drawn on Latour for theoretical inspiration and for suggestions of practical implementation.