Conspiracism as a Litmus Test for Responsible Innovation

Eugen Octav Popa*, Vincent Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The inclusion of stakeholders in science is one of the core ideas in the field of responsible innovation. Conspiracists, however, are not your garden-variety stakeholders. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the conflict between conspiracists and science is deep and intractable. In this paper, we ask how the game of responsible innovation can be played with those who believe that the game is rigged. Understanding the relationship between conspiracism and responsible innovation is necessary in order to understand the unvisited corners of the science-society interface in the post-pandemic future. We claim that pluralism, already part of the philosophical background that spurred responsible innovation, can offer insights into how conspiracism can be approached. As a case in point, we develop these insights starting from the policy on conspiracism developed in 2021 by the European Commission. We show that the ideal of inclusion can only be extended to conspiracists by accepting a pluralist framework, and we explain this pluralist response.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
EditorsM.J. Dennis, G. Ishmaev, S. Umbrello, J. van den Hoven
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783031084249
ISBN (Print)9783031084232, 9783031084263
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print)1879-7202
ISSN (Electronic)1879-7210


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