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Douglas Robinson

Chargé de recherche, CNRS

Douglas is an expert in science, technology and innovation studies and characterising their link with socio-economic impacts. Originally trained as a physicist and space scientist, Douglas has been both researcher and consultant focusing on the emergence of breakthrough technologies and their transformation into working technologies in society.  A large part of his work is connecting academic research with real-world problems, through engagement exercises, operationalising responsible research and innovation (RRI), multi-stakeholder technology assessment and the development of policy relevant intelligence.  Alongside publishing scientific articles, Douglas also produces reports on emerging technologies and their ramifications for the economy and for society, recent reports for public agencies and international organisations include OECD, European Space Agency and NASA..

Full publication list can be found here.

Three overlapping research themes

  • Futures and Socio-Economic Impact:  This research line studies the methods of foresight and impact assessment with a view to informing both innovation itself and its governance.  Approach: Stakeholder engagement, field work, workshops, constructive technology assessment, foresight and co-development of indicators. Examples: Anticipating impact pathways in (marine) biotechnology (click here)
  • Breakthrough Technologies, their emergence and generalisation: This research line involves understanding the dynamics of new technology fields, how they are co-created through the interaction of various stakeholders and how they are taken up and become integrated into societal systems. Approach: Case studies, interviews, database analysis and visualisation, theory-building and testing. Examples: Analysis of 3D printing and bioprinting (click here for presentation)  Accepted proposal as Chair of special 25 paper track in EGOS 2019 entitled “Organising the generalisation of distributed and decentralised technological innovations” (click here)
  • Innovation Policy, grand challenges and transformative change: This line explores new policy rationales (and implementation mechanisms) aimed at facilitating innovation in a particular direction towards desirable transformative change. Particularly relevant for addressing sustainable development goals and grand challenges Approach: Policy analysis, participation in policy forums, case studies, involvement in advisory groups.  Examples: Dedicated EU-SPRI 2018 special track (click here)     Associate fellow of Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (click here).

Recent and upcoming invited talks

  • Location: Ministère de l’éducation nationale, de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche, Paris, France. Date: 22nd May 2017 Detail: Presentation « Inscription territorial d’une infrastructure » by Douglas K. R. Robinson & Antoine Schoen. For a workshop organised by the Direction Générale de la Recherche et de l’Innovation.
  • Location: INRA HQ, Paris, France. Date: 25th April 2017. Detail: Invited talk « Future-Oriented Impact Assessment » Douglas K. R. Robinson.
  • Location: University Nova of Lisbon, Portugal. Date: 27th March 2017. Detail: Invited talk « Constructive Technology Assessment for managing the directions of development and impacts of breakthrough technologies » Douglas K. R. Robinson.
  • Location: European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium. Date: 13th October 2016. Detail: Presentation « Assessing the territorial embedding of marine biotechnology public research organisations » Douglas. K. R. Robinson.  Presented at the meeting: Marine Knowledge: Supporting Marine Research Knowledge Exchange for Blue Growth.

Recent and upcoming workshops and training

  • Location: Station Biologique de Roscoff (CNRS/UPMC), Roscoff, France. Date: 3-5 May 2017 Detail: « Territorial Embedding and Impact Assessment Workshop » by Douglas K. R. Robinson, Pierre Colas and Antoine Schoen. Part of the H2020 Marine Biotechnology project EMBRIC :
  • Location: UPMC Jussieu Campus, Paris, France. Date: 9th March 2017 Detail: Training Course « Visualising publication data using the CorText platform » by Douglas K. R. Robinson and Antoine Schoen. Part of the H2020 Marine Biotechnology project EMBRIC :

Selected articles and book chapters:

  • Robinson, D. K. R., Antoine Schoen, Philippe Laredo, Jordi Molas Gallart, Philine Warnke, Stefan Kuhlmann, Gonzalo Ordonez Matamoros (Forthcoming) Policy lensing of futures intelligence. Accepted article for Technological Forecasting and Social Change to be published in 2018
  • Huang, Y., Zhu, D., Qi, L., Porter, A.L., Robinson, D.K.R. and Wang, X. (2017) Early insights on the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI): An Overlay Map-based Bibliometric Study. Scientometrics (2017). doi:10.1007/s11192-017-2349-3
  • Mazzucato, M. and Robinson D. K. R. (2016) Directing vs. Facilitating the Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit. Chapter 5 in NASA book Besha P. and MacDonald, A. eds (2016) Economic Development of Low-Earth Orbit. NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration Office of Communications, Washington, DC 20546
  • Robinson, D. K., Rip, A., & Delemarle, A. (2016). Nanodistricts: Between Global Nanotechnology Promises and Local Cluster Dynamics. In The Local Configuration of New Research Fields (pp. 117-133). Springer International Publishing..
  • Robinson, D. K. R. (2015). Distinguishing the umbrella promise of Converging Technology from the dynamics of Technology Convergence. In Wienroth, M. and Rodrigues, E. (eds.) Knowing New Biotechnologies: Social Aspects of Technological Convergence, 12. Routledge.
  • Robinson, D. K. R., & Rip, A. (2013). Indications of Socio-Economic Impacts of Nanotechnologies: The Approach of Impact Pathways. In: K. Konrad & H. Van Lente & C. Coenen & A. Dijkstra & C. Milburn (Eds.), Shaping Emerging Technologies: Governance, Innovation, Discourse. IOS Press, pp153 – 166. ISBN 9781614993001.
  • Robinson, D. K. (2009). Co-evolutionary scenarios: An application to prospecting futures of the responsible development of nanotechnology. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 76(9), 1222-1239.
  • Robinson, D. K. R., and T. Propp (2008). Multi-path mapping for alignment strategies in emerging science and technologies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 75(4): 517–538.
  • Robinson, D. K., Rip, A., & Mangematin, V. (2007). Technological agglomeration and the emergence of clusters and networks in nanotechnology. Research policy, 36(6), 871-879.