Responsible innovation in stem cell research: Using responsibility as a strategy

LS Assen , KR Jongsma , R Isasi , L Utomo , MA Tryfonidou & AL Bredenoord

Published: 1 March 2023

Responsible innovation has been introduced as an important condition for advancing the field of regenerative medicine. This is reflected in the frequent references to responsible research conduct and responsible innovation in guidelines and recommendations in academic literature. The meaning of responsibility, how responsibility could be fostered and the context in which responsibilities should be enacted, however, remain unclear. The goal of this paper is to clarify the concept of responsibility in stem cell research and to illustrate how this concept could inform strategies to deal effectively with the ethical implications of stem cell research. Responsibility can be dissected into four categories: responsibility-as-accountability, responsibility-as-liability, responsibility-as-an-obligation and responsibility-as-a-virtue. The authors focus on responsible research conduct and responsible innovation in general to move beyond the scope of research integrity and illustrate that different notions of responsibility have different implications for how stem cell research is organized.

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