Responsible innovation in the age of science conspiracism

Eugen Octav Popa*, Vincent Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Responsible innovation is centered around the ideal that societal stakeholders are entitled to participate in scientific and technological decision-making by voicing their needs and worries. Individuals who believe in science conspiracies (referred to here as ‘science conspiracists’) pose a challenge to implementing this ideal because it is not clear under what conditions their inclusion in responsible innovation exercises is possible and advisable. Yet precisely because of this uncertain status, science conspiracists constitute an instructive case in point to travel towards the edges of inclusion and understand how we draw the line between ‘includables' and ‘unincludables’. In this paper, we seek to explore this relationship between responsible innovation and science conspiracism by using the method of thought experimentaiton. We test four possible exclusion criteria for science conspiracists. We conclude by revisiting the relationship between conspiracism and responsible innovation and sketching a novel perspective on the ideal of stakeholder inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-418
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Responsible Innovation
Issue number3
Early online date12 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • conspiracists
  • responsible innovation
  • Stakeholder inclusion
  • thought experiments


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