Responsible Innovation in Ocean Engineering

In 2015-2017, the Observatory for Responsible Innovation focused on the problem of ocean noise pollution. The management and engineering of oceans is (or should be) at the center of environmental policy agendas and wider political, industrial and societal concerns. Noise is a particularly hot topic here. The European Commission has put it on its radar, and so have done numerous stakeholders throughout the globe. Concerns expressed within the scientific community are communicating with preoccupations voiced in civil society and political arenas. Anthropic sonic perturbations of marine environment are varied (from sonars and explosions to marine traffic and offshore energy technologies) and contribute to a complex array of harmful effects (especially in animal behavior and species survival). The stakes are high on the responsible innovation front.

A working group led by Héloïse Berkowitz (then at CRG Polytechnique) and Hervé Dumez settled to facilitate debate, contribute to policy measures and steer industry mobilization in this field (the working group included, among others: Hervé Dumez, Héloïse Berkowitz, Eric Baudin, Christine Valentin, Aldo Napoli, Céline Rousset and Christian Audoly).

Main achievements included the organization of a series of workshops in 2016 (see here, here and here) followed by an international conference (see program here), and the publication of a lengthy position report, “Racket in the Oceans”: see here for a presentation and executive summary, and here and here for the full report.

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