Socio-Technical Integration Research (STIR)

Program Areas – Responsible Innovation

Project Leaders

  • PI: Erik Fisher, assistant research professor, CSPO & CNS
  • Co-PI: David Guston, CSPO co-director, CNS director and professor

The Socio-Technical Integration Research Project (STIR) was awarded a three-year, $540,000 grant from the National Science Foundation in April 2009. STIR will study the extent to which collaborations between social and natural scientists working alongside one another in research laboratories may advance responsible innovation. The STIR project coordinates 20 such studies in laboratories in North America, Western Europe and East Asia.

While policies in many nations are placing new pressures on laboratories to address broader ethical, legal and social dimensions of their work, neither the capacity of laboratories to respond to such pressures nor the role that interdisciplinary collaborations may play in enhancing responsiveness is well understood or empirically supported. STIR takes to heart longstanding calls for collaboration between social and natural scientists. By conducting and assessing a coordinated set of international laboratory engagement studies, the project ultimately seeks to inform the design and implementation of effective forms of responsible innovation.

STIR is training ten doctoral students from a number of social science and humanities perspectives to each carry out paired laboratory studies based on a research method developed by Eric Fisher, the project’s principal investigator, in his doctoral research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. These students – half in the United States and half in other countries – will spend approximately four months working intimately with scientists and engineers in two laboratories, one in their home countries and one abroad. The paired international studies will allow them to gain comparative understanding of the capacity of laboratories to respond to policies for responsible innovation.

The STIR project is co-funded through the NSF programs in Science, Technology & Society; Biology and Society; Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Society; Science of Science and Innovation Policy; and Office of International Science and Engineering. The project is administered through CNS-ASU.

For more information, visit STIR online.

Meet the Project Team

Principal Investigators