Past events

Thu 23 October, 2014

Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity Seminars – Michaelmas Term 2014

Conveners: Stanley Ulijaszek and Paulina Nowicka

Speaker: Amandine Garde, Liverpool University

Title: From denial to corporate social responsibility: rhetoric of the food industry on obesity prevention

Date: Thursday 23 October 2014

Time: 1pm - 2pm

Venue: 61 Banbury Road (seminar room), Oxford OX2 6PE

Seminars generally involve a 35-40 minute presentation followed by approximately 20 minutes of questions and discussion. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Mon 20 October, 2014

Date: 20 October 2014

Time: 5.30 p.m. - 7.00 p.m

Venue: Margaret Thatcher Centre, Somerville College

As part of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development Seminar Series, Professor Madhura Swaminathan, Economic Analysis Unit, Indian Statistical Institute will deliver a talk entitled "Food Security Issues in Contemporary India" on Monday, 20 October from 5.30 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.

All are welcome. Refreshements will be provided.

Sat 20 September, 2014

Local Food Celebration

Date: Saturday 20 September

Time: 12-3pm

Venue: Oxford Town Hall

Tickets cost £25 - Find out more and book tickets online.

On Saturday 20 September, Cultivate - Oxford's local food cooperative - would like to invite you to join us at our first ever feast at Oxford Town Hall. This lunchtime event will showcase the best of Oxfordshire’s homegrown food, prepared expertly by some of the most talented chefs in the county.

You will be treated to a delicious three course lunch, as well as interesting talks from local food producers, key food buyers within Oxford, and our local chefs. Come alone to meet interesting people and discover more about Oxford’s local food scene, or come with friends and book a whole table to yourselves! 

Thu 10 July, 2014

Food and Behaviour Research presents a one-day conference on:

Sugar, Fat, Food and Addiction: New Approaches to the Public Health Crisis with Prof. Robert Lustig MD

Date: Thursday 10 July, 2014

Time: 9.30 am to 4.30 pm (registration from 9.00 am)

Venue: The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A

FAB Research is extremely proud to offer this opportunity to hear from our highly distinguished panel of international researchers and expert practitioners, who will present and discuss potential new approaches to the growing public health crisis, focused on the latest evidence linking food and diet with behaviour.

Our central theme is the controversial issue of whether some nutrients, foods or dietary patterns may actually promote (or reduce) ‘addictive’ behaviours. Sugar has recently come under the spotlight in this respect, although the scientific evidence in this area, and its implications, still remain hotly debated.

Related topics under discussion will include obesity and other eating disorders, alcoholism and other substance use disorders, antisocial behaviour, and other mental health conditions in which impulsivity and poor self-control play a key role, such as ADHD. 

Presentations and discussions will be focused on both the latest scientific evidence and its broader implications for  policymakers, professionals, food industry representatives and the general public.

For more information, and to book your place, please visit the FAB Research website.

Mon 30 June, 2014

Date: 30 June 2014

Time: 09h00 – 17h30

Venue: TORCH Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities

This innovative one-day inter-disciplinary conference brings together graduate students from across continents and disciplines. Dialogue between researchers and practitioners holds the promise of a unique environment, and innovative partnerships that communicate personal and professional responses to global water scarcity.

Ten students at Oxford and Cornell University in faculties of the arts, environmental sciences and engineering, have been paired and are currently developing material to present creative collaborative projects in response to the global water crisis.

Mediums of the fine arts, poetry, photography, music composition and performance, will be used to communicate key thematic areas of water scarcity in sectors such as agricultural food production, industry or local management and use. Students will draw from their experience working across the world in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and elsewhere .

Organizers hope this will be the beginning of future collaborative relationships across universities to address pertinent and urgent management responses needed in the 21st century. 

Free lunch will be on offer – so please RSVP to

The graduate conference exchange project supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Merton College, Cornell’s Institute for European Studies and the Brettschneider Fund (Cornell University). 

Thu 19 June, 2014

The Global Economic Governance Programme presents:

The Impact of Subsidized Insurance on Farm Financial Risk: Global Lessons from Agricultural Policy in the United States

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Time: 14:00 to 15:30

Venue: BSG Board Room, 10 Merton Street

Speaker: Dr Todd Kuethe, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Chair: Prof. Charles Godfray

On February 7, 2014 President Barack Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 into law. The Act, in many ways, represents a new era in agricultural policy in the United States: one of the key changes is that it eliminates the direct payments program in favour of publicly subsidized insurance products. In the future, subsidized insurance is likely to become the dominant agricultural policy in many areas of the developed and developing world, and the lessons provided by the American experience may provide valuable information for policy makers and academics around the globe.

This seminar will highlight many of the key findings of Dr. Kuethe’s research on the impacts of agricultural insurance programs. By mitigating downside economic risk, subsidized insurance allows farmers to engage in riskier financial activities. Dr. Kuethe’s work demonstrates that farmers who adopt subsidized insurance are likely to increase short-term debt and have a higher default risk. Another way farmers offset the reduced financial risk is to adopt rental arrangements that shift financial risk away from the landlord and to the farmer tenant (from traditional share-lease agreements to cash rent agreements). Finally, there is evidence that the risk mitigating benefits are capitalized into underlying farmland values.

Interested in attending? Register for your ticket.

Thu 12 June, 2014

Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity Seminars – Trinity Term 2014

Date: Thursday, 12 June

Time: 1 - 2pm

Location: 61 Banbury Road (seminar room), Oxford OX2 6PE

Conveners: Stanley Ulijaszek and Amy McLennan

Speaker: John Coveney, Flinders University

‘The disenchantment of the plate’

Seminars generally involve a 35-40 minute presentation followed by approximately 20 minutes of questions and discussion. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Mon 02 June, 2014

Challenges of the early 21st century

Date: Monday 2 June

Time: 12.15 – 1.00pm

Venue: Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Plant Sciences

Speaker: Professor Sir John Beddington CMG FRS, Senior Adviser, Oxford Martin School and Professor of Natural Resources Management, University of Oxford

The latter half of the 20th century was a period of massive population growth, significant poverty, the over exploitation of natural resources and substantial pollution including greenhouse gas emissions . The related challenges posed in the early decades of the 21st century are in many ways inexorable and complicated by economic, social demographic and environmental change. This talk will focus on these challenges and some of the ways they may be addressed.

Professor Sir John Beddington will give a seminar in the Large Lecture Theatre on Monday 2 June (12.15 – 1.00pm) titled “Challenges of the early 21st century”. The seminar will be hosted by Head of Department, Liam Dolan, a Director of the Oxford Martin Plants for the 21st Century Institute.

Between January 2008 and the end of March 2013, Sir John was the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science, reporting directly to the Prime Minister. Currently he is Senior Adviser, Oxford Martin School

Fri 23 May, 2014

Date: 23rd May 2014

Time: Academic presentations 2pm – 5pm, Tasting Workshop 5:30pm - 7pm

Location: The Tanner Room, Linacre College South Parks Road, OX1 3JA

Registration required:

Food and foodways find themselves both under threat from climatic, environmental, and demographic shifts and at the same time more syncretic, dynamic, and cosmopolitan than ever.

In this symposium, we wish to bring new perspectives on food from geography and anthropology into conversation to better understand the construction, performance and imagining of boundaries between food cultures, and the practices through which they are transgressed.

Whether spatial or temporal, social or biological, the frontiers of food production and consumption have stimulated critical thought and represent lines of tension and reflection within the ongoing transformations of globalisation.

Bringing together empirical work from students and researchers in Oxford we hope to explore and interrogate how food might become ‘the epicentre of the reformation of our relationship to economies, cultures, ethics, politics and ecologies.’  Goodman and Sage (2014:6).

Sponsored by Technological Natures Research Cluster, School of Geography and the Environment and Linacre College

Thu 22 May, 2014

Date: Thursday 22 May

Time: 4pm, with drinks following the talk

Venue: Herbertson Room, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford

Speaker: Professor Jason Hill

Jason Hill is McKnight Land-Grant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He also serves as a Resident Fellow of the University’s Institute on the Environment. His research focuses on the consequences of energy, agriculture, and natural resource use from a life-cycle perspective. Dr. Hill’s work on the impacts of transportation biofuels has been published in the journals Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He recently served on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production. Dr. Hill received his AB in Biology from Harvard College and his PhD in Plant Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

Find out more about Jason Hill's research.

This lecture is funded by a generous benefaction from Professor Oliver Smithies, which enables Balliol to bring distinguished visitors to the University of Oxford.

Listen to Jason Hill's lecture.