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Issue 3: March 2022

From the Director

A woman with silver hair and red lipstick, smiling at the camera and wearing a black buttoned up top.

Welcome to the latest from CSIRO’s Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform (RI FSP).

This first newsletter for 2022 looks back on a consistently busy quarter. We started the year with confirmation of an extension of the FSP for a further three years, evidence of the growing demand for this research across CSIRO's Future Science portfolio. During the next three years, we will be doubling down on the challenges of achieving responsible AI systems and appointing three new scientists to work with us in this area.

In January, we also took a deep dive into quantum technology, joining forces with the World Economic Forum to contribute to the world’s first set of best-practice governance guidelines for quantum computing. We look forward to continuing this discussion with CSIRO’s partners across the global and national quantum ecosystem.

In this issue we’re pleased to share our insights about those quantum computing governance guidelines and bring you up to speed with how Australians are feeling about the ‘fuel of the future’: hydrogen. We’ve also recently launched a new project in partnership with CSIRO’s Ending Plastic Waste Mission that aims to support the responsible implementation of advanced plastics recycling for a more sustainable future. Plus, there is an opportunity to take part in a study that aims to understand the cybersecurity risks posed by quantum computing advances.

It would be impossible to achieve what we do – bringing an applied science focus to responsible innovation – without our collaborators. This month, I had the pleasure of joining a panel at Melbourne Design Week on ethical design, and Dr Cathy Robinson shared her experience of collaborative Indigenous-led design and putting AI to work in Northern Australia with the team at Liquid Interactive.

On another note, it was exciting to be part of the Synthetic Biology FSP’s Symposium last week where I heard from leaders and scientists about the exponential pace of commercialisation of a range of synthetic biology applications. While responsible innovation is something we often seek to ‘bake’ into technologies and we assume this quality will be carried through commercialisation and into implementation, this is rarely examined. There is a key role that RI can play throughout the commercialisation cycle and beyond, and we look forward to investigating this in future RI projects.

Thank you for your continued support.

Dr Justine Lacey

RI FSP Director

Latest news

New research

Advanced plastic recycling

Australians produce millions of tonnes of mixed plastic waste every year. Advanced recycling of plastics is an innovative technology that may enable Australia to reach its recycling targets, but understanding issues around its social acceptability is key.

Read more

Quantum computing and cybersecurity

Our researchers are examining how Australian research and innovation sectors are approaching the ethical and technical risks posed by quantum computing. Please take part in our anonymous online survey to help us better contribute to the development of ethical guidance and governance standards in this field.

Take part