Assessing Attitudes about Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI): The Development and Use of a Questionnaire

  • Ron Blonder Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Shelley Rap Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Esty Zemler Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Sherman Rosenfeld Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
Keywords: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Socioscientific issues (SSI), Science Education, Questionnaire, High school, Teachers' Attitudes / Investigação e inovação responsáveis (IIR), Questões sociocientíficas (QSC), Educação em ciências


The purpose of this article is to trace the development, validation and use of a questionnaire for evaluating teacher and student attitudes regarding Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).  RRI is a framework, developed by the European Union, which provides general standards to guide the development of trust and confidence of the public regarding advances in science and technology, and the development of their participation in these advances.  The article traces the development of the RRI framework and focuses on its educational component, whose goal is to sensitize teachers and students into "RRI-based thinking" about past and current scenarios regarding the development of science and technology advances. The use of the RRI questionnaire is demonstrated through the presentation of teacher and student data taken before and after the implementation of RRI-based modules, developed in the EU-funded Irresistible Project. Based on this work, we suggest that the RRI questionnaire can be used to assess the development of attitudes regarding RRI across diverse populations of teachers, students, scientists, consumers and other members of the general public.

O objetivo deste artigo é delinear o desenvolvimento, validação e uso de um questionário de avaliação de atitudes de professores e alunos, relativas à Inovação e Investigação Responsáveis (IIR). O artigo descreve o enquadramento do desenvolvimento da IIR e foca-se na componente educacional, cujo objetivo é sensibilizar os professores para um “pensamento fundamentado na IIR”, sobre cenários passados e presentes relativos ao desenvolvimento da ciência e aos avanços da tecnologia. O uso do questionário sobre IIR é demonstrado através da apresentação de dados sobre estudantes e professores, recolhidos antes e depois da implementação dos modelos fundamentados sobre IIR, desenvolvidos no âmbito do projeto IRRESISTIBLE, financiado pela EU. Baseados neste trabalho, sugerimos que o questionário sobre IIR pode ser usado para avaliar o desenvolvimento das atitudes face à IIR em diferentes populações de professores, estudantes, cientistas, consumidores e outros membros do público em geral.

Author Biographies

Ron Blonder, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
Prof. Ron Blonder is a professor of science education in the Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science. The goal of Prof. Blonder’s research group is to bring the chemistry of tomorrow into the high school chemistry lessons of today. Her research addresses three issues: nano-scale science and technology education; science teachers’ self-efficacy; and, chemistry teachers’ professional development. Her efforts to enhance chemistry teachers’ professional development has reached a large number of chemistry teachers via the National Chemistry Teachers’ Center, the Rothschild-Weizmann program, the Israeli Chemical Society, and EU-projects. Prof. Blonder is married with four children. Professional site:
Shelley Rap, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Shelley is a post doc fellow at the department of Science Teaching at Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). Her research focuses on novel ways to use social media for advancing chemistry education at secondary school level. Dr. Rap holds MSc degree in chemistry from Bar Ilan University (Israel). In addition, she has an experience as a chemistry teacher, including preparing high school students to the matriculation exams.
Esty Zemler, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
Mrs. Esty Zemler received a BA in Biology, an MA in Public Policy (both from Tel Aviv University) and an MA in Chemistry Teaching (from the Weizmann Institute of Science). A veteran high school chemistry teacher, she also has worked as the Director of Strategic Planning for a local municipality and as a staff member for Israel's State Comptroller's Office. In the chemistry classroom, Ms. Zemler enjoys teaching with socio-scientific issues that develop student thinking about ethics and public policy. In the EU-funded IRRESISTIBLE Project, she participated in the Weizmann team develop curricular units based on RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation).
Sherman Rosenfeld, Department of Science Teaching, Weizmann Institute of Science
Dr. Sherman Rosenfeld received his Ph.D from UC Berkeley and worked as a science educator at the Weizmann Institute of Science for over 3 decades. His research interests include bridging the gap between formal and informal science education, computer simulations in science education, and whole-school change. For over 20 years, he spearheaded an effort in to introduce Project-Based Learning (PBL) into science and technology classrooms (K-12) throughout Israel.   This effort has spread to all disciplines.  He currently is the PBL academic advisor for the Amal School Network and an instructional designer at the Center for Educational Technology in Ramat Aviv.