Science Wednesday: Reputational risks from big data R&D

September 22nd, 2021


A human factors expert, a sociologist, a remote-sensing specialist and an economist walk into a bar…

One of the joys of the Digiscape Future Science Platform is the encounter between different disciplinary perspectives. In a new paper published in Sustainability, four Digiscape early-career researchers have come together to review the risks to R&D agencies that arise along with the opportunities from digital innovation.

While the paper is largely about the risks to publicly-funded R&D agencies, there’s food for thought for all the actors in the agritech ecosystem.

Some takeaways:

  • “the crux of why the modus operandi of R&D organizations needs updating: we need to acknowledge that in the new digital normal, there exist independent value exchange networks where actors are using digital technologies in new ways to create profit and mitigate business risk”
  • R&D leaders can already access “actionable ways of anticipating sources of technology mistrust, reinforce perceptions of digital responsibility,
    and link to business model development and adaptation”
  • for R&D agencies, “the reputation associated with the ways in which digital systems are handled requires greater transparency about data collection,
    reuse, consent, and custodianship.”

The authors: Cara Stitzlein, Simon Fielke, Franz Waldner & Todd Sanderson