University of Cambridge Partners

Member since 2015

The Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) promotes engagement between academic research and government in order to improve the use of evidence in public policy and better inform academics about the public policy dimensions of their research.

Centre for Study of Existential Risk (CSER) is a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks that could lead to human extinction.  Its goal is to help steer a small fraction of the great intellectual resources devoted to research and innovation to the task of avoiding extinction-level threats posed by emerging technologies.

The OpenPlant project has been co-funded by BBSRC and EPSRC in the UK to develop plant systems for research in synthetic biology.  The focus on plants has potentially far-reaching consequences given that plants are already globally cultivated at extremely low cost, harvested on the giga-tonne scale, and routinely used to produce the widest range of biostuffs, from fibres, wood, oils, sugar, fine chemicals, drugs to food.  The OpenPlant project includes a commitment to responsible innovation which will be the focus of an annual forum for discussion among OpenPlant researchers.

The University of Cambridge Public Engagement Team works across the University and Colleges to support public engagement, community and outreach work, including the annual Science Festival and Festival of Ideas.  The Team also promotes public dialogue on the purposes and societal value of research and has a growing interest in developing teaching on responsible innovation for early career researchers from all disciplines.

Dr Robert Doubleday, CSaP’s director, will coordinate participation of the four Cambridge partners in VIRI.  

VIRI Leader Robert Doubleday is director of the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge.

Selected RRI Publications

Open Letter for Robust AI Research Posted. January 11, 2015. Cambridge, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk: See also research priorities document it refers to: 

Price, Huw and Sean O hEigeartaigh. 2014. "Policy, Decision-Making and Existential Risk." In Government Office for Science. Innovation: Managing Risk, Not Avoiding It. Annual Report of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, 117.

Beckstead, Nick, Nick Bostrom, Niel Bowerman, Owen Cotton-Barratt, William MacAskill, Sean O hEigeartaigh, and Toby Ord. "Unprecedented Technological Risks." Policy brief:

Doubleday, Robert and Brian Wynne. 2011. "Despotism and Democracy in the UK: Experiments in Reframing Relations Between the State, Science and Citizenship. In Reframing Rights: Bioconstitutionalism in the Genetic Age, ed. Sheila Jasanoff. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015950.003.0126

Doubleday, Robert and Ana Viseu. 2010. "Questioning Interdisciplinarity: What Roles for Laboratory based Social Science?" In Nano Meets Macro: Social Perspectives on Nanoscale Sciences and Technologies, eds. Kamilla Kjølberg and Fern Wickson. Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing, 55-84.

Recent Szeged RRI News Items

  • Monday, February 16, 2015

    Five new members have been accepted to VIRI. They include the University of Basque Country in Spain, the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the University of Ottawa in...


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VIRI is supported by the National Science Foundation under collective agreement #1257246.

VIRI is housed at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University.