Monica Racovita

Monica Racovita

on May 21, 2020

I am working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. I am co-responsible for the task 3.3 of the Work Package 3 in RRING. This task coordinates over 180 interviews in approximately 20 countries around the world, as well as a global survey in 8 languages. The purpose of this task is to gain a better understanding of RRI in different contexts as well as gain information on RRI-like structures: policies and regulations; roles and interaction of different stakeholders; platforms, networks and spaces. I am very much looking forward to the results of this task as there is not much groundwork done currently on a global framework for RRI.

My work generally draws insights from the STS field (Science and Technology Studies), which studies the interactions between scientific research and technological innovation on one side, and society, politics, and culture on another. As many researchers in this field, I have a mixed academic background: I have a PhD in Global Social Studies from Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan and a master in Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology from Nagoya University, Japan.

In terms of research interests, for the past 8 years I have worked on issues related to biotechnology, Responsible Research and Innovation, sustainability, and international development. Thus I have worked on projects funded by the EU (FP7 or Horizon 2020), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or UNEP on: co-RRI and fostering transitions towards RRI systems; biosafety capacity-building for genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean; stakeholder engagement for the assessment of food and feed safety of genetically modified plants in the EU; preparatory steps towards a GMO research ERA-Net (European Commission co-fund action designed to support public-public partnerships).

I have also led a systematic review on the non-food health impacts of genetically modified crops cultivation and co-coordinated a task in the EU-funded G-TwYST project investigating the role of values in scientific controversies.

Although gender has not been a focus of my research, my mixed academic background and my subsequent work in STS have given me direct exposure to various gender issues in academia (in STEM and social sciences) in various cultural contexts (Romania, Japan, Italy, Austria, UK). I am happy to have found that RRING places a particular focus on gender and I am hopeful that it will manage to go beyond a tokenistic approach and become an example of how gender should be addressed in EU funded projects and within RRI approaches to research and innovation.