Special Issue "Safe-by-Design: Conceptualizations, Principles, Operationalizations and Practices"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Pieter van Gelder
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Guest Editor
Section of Safety and Security Science, Department of Values, Technology and Innovation, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: system safety; probabilistic risk analysis; reliability engineering; decision-making under uncertainties; extreme value statistics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Behnam Taebi
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Values, Technology and Innovation, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
2. Delft Safety & Security Institute, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: responsible innovation; values in design, ethics of sustainability; safety and security governance; engineering ethics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Zoë Robaey
Website
Guest Editor
Philosophy Group, Department of Social Science, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
Interests: ethics of technology, biotechnology, safe-by-design, responsible research and innovation, inclusive innovation, engineering ethics
Dr. Pim Klaassen
Website
Guest Editor
Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Interests: transdisciplinarity; safe-by-design; responsible research and innovation; STS; ethics in life sciences

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, we have seen an increase in attention to research and innovation for society’s grand challenges, for instance as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals and visible in national and European mission-directed research and innovation programs. Efforts are undertaken to proactively build on the realization that the outcomes of today’s research and innovation should not only help resolve today’s societal problems in the spheres of climate, energy, mobility, aging, or urbanization, but that they should be designed such that they do not bring forth their own, novel problems. Under labels such as responsible research and innovation, or science with and for society, investments are made to incorporate societal needs in research and innovation agendas and to engage in research and innovation in a reflective, anticipative, forward-looking, and simultaneously responsive way. This serves the purpose, amongst other things, of preventing future risks and addressing ethical, legal, and societal issues early on in research and innovation, to avoid having to provide a “cure” later on. Of course, this preventive rationale has gained more force in light of the transition to a circular economy, in which products and materials are intended to escape the linear produce–consume–dispose pathway. In several fields of emerging technologies, much of such thinking has been undertaken under the tag of safe-by-design. Safe-by-design is a design approach that makes safety a core value, based on the aforementioned consideration that preventing harm is better than curing it. The safe-by-design approach acknowledges the importance of safety in all phases of research and innovation trajectories and potentially looks at safety as integral to the entire chain any research or innovation trajectory is but a component of. What, however, this precisely entails in terms of risk assessment, risk management, chain coordination, and so on, will vary from one field to the next. This also holds for whether or not the safe-by-design approach introduces novelties in dealing with risks and safety issues, or whether it is already an established practice, with lessons learned and showcase examples. At present, there is no clear overview of what meanings are attributed to safe-by-design in different disciplines, making it hard for different perspectives to become pertinent to each other. Thus, questions emerge such as (i) whether or to what extent we can speak of one safe-by-design approach at all, pertinent to any and all disciplines, sectors or fields of application? (ii) what lessons can be drawn from conceptualizing or operationalizing safe-by-design drawn in one place can be applied elsewhere? (iii) what hurdles need to be overcome for the successful translocation of safe-by-design conceptualizations, principles, and practices from one place to another? This Special Issue invites authors to submit manuscripts to disseminate knowledge on the above issues, as well as methods and techniques on how to deal with them. Case studies illustrating safe-by-design approaches are also welcome.

Prof. Pieter van Gelder
Dr. Behnam Taebi
Dr. Zoë Robaey
Dr. Pim Klaassen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • safe-by-design
  • secure-by-design
  • risk-based design
  • design for values
  • responsible research and innovation
  • science with and for society

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Application of the Safe-by-Design Concept in Crop Breeding Innovation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176420 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
The present paper proposes the application of the safe-by-design concept to crop breeding innovation with the aim to accommodate safety considerations for new agricultural food and feed products. Safe-by-design can be implemented in all stages of the innovation cycle of agricultural products, from [...] Read more.
The present paper proposes the application of the safe-by-design concept to crop breeding innovation with the aim to accommodate safety considerations for new agricultural food and feed products. Safe-by-design can be implemented in all stages of the innovation cycle of agricultural products, from the early stages of research and development towards the post-market stage. Our proposed application of safe-by-design can be part of “responsible research and innovation” concepts, because they share features such as risk prevention strategies and a participatory approach. Early awareness of potential safety issues can guide the development of agricultural products towards safe options, both at the process and product level, and thus may help to reduce extensive pre-market assessment studies that might otherwise be needed further downstream for regulatory product approval. Here, it is discussed how the proposed safe-by-design approach can be introduced into the development of safe food crops using emerging technologies, such as gene editing and synthetic biology, and how this may help to safeguard the safety of our food and feed supply in the light of the ongoing global innovations in agricultural crop breeding. Full article
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