RECIPES – Precaution, Innovation, and Science

February 10, 2020


It might seem like common knowledge that we need to protect ourselves against the things we know are dangerous, but what about the things we are unsure of?

Together with 11 partners across the EU, The Danish Board of Technology is revising the precautionary principle in the EU project RECIPES (REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders).

Duration: 01/2019 to 12/2021

The precautionary principle is currently recognised as a general principle in the EU legislation and appears in the EU treaty (article 191 in TEUF). It also appears as a general principle in different EU-member state’s national legislation and several international treaties, among others the UNESCO declaration of the precautionary principle:

‘When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm’. (UNESCO COMEST (2005) The Precautionary Principle, UNESCO COMEST, Paris Cedex, Paris, France, 54 pp.)

The purpose of the precautionary principle is to support a safer regulation of products, goods, technologies etc., where uncertainty and lack of knowledge of unacceptable or irreversible damage can arise.
The precautionary principle and its uses are a subject that throughout time to the present-day incite both political and public debate. A significant and central discussion revolves around the question of whether its use, in certain cases, can lead to exaggerated caution and thereby inhibit scientific creativity and technological innovation?
RECIPES brings this discussion forth to fully understand the complexities as well as the controversies surrounding the precautionary principle, while developing new tools that ensure the health and safety of people and the environment, while simultaneously promoting innovation.

The Role of the Danish Board of Technology

The Danish Board of Technology is responsible for the actor and citizen participation and co-creation activities of this project. Furthermore, the Danish Board of Technology will participate in a larger study of how the precautionary principle is implemented in Europe and how the general perception of its uses have changed since 2000 to the present.

Project Partners:
RECIPES is implemented by a consortium consisting of 11 experienced partner organisations with a multidisciplinary background, from seven different countries.