Ending Hunger... or Writing Papers?

Like many of my peers in attendance at for the "BMEL Session," oral presentations, I have spent the last year wrestling with one quite specialized, and quite complex, research problem. Mine falls under the umbrella question, "What are pathways towards sustainable food system transformation?". Safely contained within this one research question, I am often tempted to isolate the subtleties of my research from the sweeping and disastrous reality, hunger. Occasionally lost within an abstract cloud of data and theory, I try to remind myself of the necessity of resituating my research within the context of the larger research environment.

The logical, but not always obvious, next question: Should we extend this interrogation one step further and question how our research, our knowledge, and our resources, will be used in application to better society? Are we making change, or are we just writing papers?


Introduced by Dr. Hanns-Christoph Eiden and Sylvia Dietz, this series of oral presentations highlighted collaborations between science and government within the German context in order to create an environment for food security and nutrition. The floor eventually shifted over to practical examples of projects that the German Federal Ministry has implemented in recent years with the intent to improve food security and nutrition, and at least from where I was sitting, reminded the diverse audience of researchers to take a step back- and look at why we're all here.


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