On February 19, 2019, Luciano d’Andrea (Knowledge & Innovation) gave a lecture on “Critical Trends shaping Science” in a webinar organised in the framework of the FIT4RRI project. The lecture was aimed at presenting the main results of the activities carried out under Work Package 1 of the project, devoted to the analysis of the main trends and barriers pertaining to Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). In the contribution, d’Andrea highlighted the need to go beyond a merely prescriptive view of RRI and proposed a possible framework for interpreting it in a different way. Within such a framework, RRI can be understood as one of the policy approaches developed so far to face the deep changes involving science. RRI can be however effective only if it is able to cope with these changes viewing them in the context of the broader shift from modernity to late modernity characterising all contemporary societies.