RRI in China and South Africa: Cultural Adaptation Report: Deliverable 3.3 NUCLEUS project

Anne Dijkstra, Mirjam Jeanette Schuijff, Lin Yin, Shadrack Mkansi

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic

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Executive summary: This study presents findings from two case studies on responsible research and innovation in China and South Africa respectively. The study focused on the following questions: How are RRI and relevant other concepts implemented in international contexts? What are barriers and successes to the future implementation? What can be recommended for the future implementation of RRI in the Nuclei?

The findings are based on a multi-method approach using qualitative research methods, which include literature and interview studies. In China 30 interviews were conducted with researchers and leading management. In South Africa 13 interviews were held with researchers and science centre managers. Analysis was performed at the conceptual, governmental, institutional and individual level, based on the following themes: equality; science education and open access; stakeholder and public engagement; and ethics and broader impacts.

Findings show are that RRI can be identified in many concepts, policies and practices, despite not being a commonly used term in either China or South Africa. In China, there is a strong emphasis on science communication and popularisation and social responsibility of researchers. In South Africa, equality, science education, outreach and stakeholder engagement in the form of including indigenous knowledge and people is important. Both countries are actively developing policies to further these; have installed agencies for science education, communication and popularisation; and are focusing on (even more) developing globally competitive universities.

The most important recommendations are:
• Work towards open and innovative research with minimum levels of regulations.
• Continue efforts to raise levels of scientific literacy.
• Share knowledge and research experiences with (developing) countries, for example by stimulating open access and open communication.
• Play a leading role in developing social responsibility and community-oriented research.
• Increase trust in science by stimulating research ethics, attention to impacts of research and open communication about all research findings.
• Create and facilitate means, such as platforms, to exchange knowledge and best practices on science communication and engagement.
• Use incentives to embed responsible research and innovation in universities and research institutes.
• Recognize and facilitate role models.
• Acknowledge the efforts of researchers regarding science popularization, science education and engagement.
• Raise awareness and train researchers in research ethics.
• Stimulate equal access to universities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEnschede
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Responsible Research and Innovation
  • Science-society relationship
  • China
  • South Africa


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