The research will use philosophical and historical perspectives on nutrition and related sciences to contribute to efforts to create an integrated multidisciplinary approach to nutrition.
The science of nutrition has evolved in recent years into something broader and more theoretical than the traditional discipline of human nutrition. As such, it is a new and contested disciplinary formation and offers many potential avenues of investigation for historians and philosophers of science. Thinking about the history and development of the field, and its relationship to other fields, such as the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and evolutionary medicine, has the potential to help practitioners understand. achieve a stable and functional disciplinary identity.
The science of nutrition also has a difficult relationship with society’s broader interest in nutrition and the global obesity crisis. The very idea that our relationship to food should be publicized by science is controversial in some circles and has been called “nutritionism”. The relationship between the science of nutrition and the multiple conceptions of a “natural” diet and its relationship to health is also in urgent need of analysis.
The research will be jointly overseen by ARC Laureate and Philosophy Professor Paul Griffiths and Professor David Raubenheimer, Head of Nutrition Theme at the Charles Perkins Center. The University of Sydney is ranked first in the world as a destination for postgraduate studies in Philosophy of Biological Sciences.
The Charles Perkins Center and the Sydney Food and Nutrition Network, led by Professor Raubenheimer, are world leaders in nutritional science. Professor Raubenheimer was a member of the expert working group that produced the 2019 Australian Academy of Sciences report Nourishing Australia: A 10 Year Plan for Nutritional Science.