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Once the rockets are up, who should care where they come down? The problem of responsibility ascription for the negative consequences of biofuel innovations

Overview of attention for article published in SpringerPlus, March 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (69th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (77th percentile)

Mentioned by

5 tweeters
1 Facebook page


10 Dimensions

Readers on

52 Mendeley
Once the rockets are up, who should care where they come down? The problem of responsibility ascription for the negative consequences of biofuel innovations
Published in
SpringerPlus, March 2016
DOI 10.1186/s40064-016-1758-8
Pubmed ID

T. H. Tempels, H. Van den Belt


Responsible Innovation (RI) is often heralded in EU policy circles as a means to achieve ethically acceptable, sustainable innovations. Yet, conceptual questions on the specific notion of 'responsibility' and to what extent an innovation can be 'responsible' are only partly addressed. In this chapter the question of responsibility for the indirect negative effects of biofuel innovations is explored. While initially hailed as one of the much needed solutions in the global struggle against climate change, the use of biofuels has become increasingly criticised. It is argued that the increased production of biofuels has put smallholder farmers out of business, has given rise to increased food prices, sparking food riots in several countries, while also contributing to further environmental degradation as the demand for new biofuels requires the development of new croplands at the cost of forests and peat lands. In the current market-based system it is customary to disburden researchers and business companies from any responsibility for the more remote consequences of their actions. When harmful consequences are brought about through the mediation of (perhaps a long series of) market transactions, they are often considered inevitable and excusable and not an appropriate occasion for invoking anybody's responsibility. But how broad is the scope of responsibility when it comes to the above mentioned social and ecological problems? By invoking the sacred duty to "innovate", the business company could perhaps be exculpated. In our age, innovation is often so much celebrated that many negative impacts are duly accepted as the inevitable price of progress. By approaching responsibility from a perspective that takes into account the economic and ecological interconnectedness of the world, we show how the debate on Responsible Innovation in biofuels becomes tied in with global debates on economic justice and bioscarcity. In conclusion we argue that if we-assuming this interconnectedness-take the current requirements of "Responsible" Innovation seriously, it would result in a demanding practice that calls for a substantial departure from business as usual, which prompts the question to what extent it is reasonable to incorporate what are actually demands for global justice in programs for innovation.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 5 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 52 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 52 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 23%
Student > Master 8 15%
Student > Bachelor 7 13%
Researcher 7 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 6%
Other 9 17%
Unknown 6 12%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 12%
Environmental Science 6 12%
Social Sciences 5 10%
Engineering 4 8%
Computer Science 3 6%
Other 15 29%
Unknown 13 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 5. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 March 2016.
All research outputs
of 22,852,911 outputs
Outputs from SpringerPlus
of 1,849 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 298,940 outputs
Outputs of similar age from SpringerPlus
of 162 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,852,911 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 71st percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,849 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.7. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 298,940 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 69% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 162 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its contemporaries.