Social & Cultural

This theme covers social aspects of the food system, including consumer culture in relation to food, the history of food and the development of agriculture, interactions between food and other social issues, and the wider implications of food-related technologies.

The British Nutrition Foundation Prize for outstanding achievement in nutrition has been awarded to Professor Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health in Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

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A combination of a carbon tax on food and a tax on sugary drinks in the UK could lead to health benefits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise up to GB£3.6 billion revenue, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

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The Oxford Student Food Forum will be holding their 4th Annual Conference on May 2nd 2015 and are inviting researchers across the social and biological sciences, NGOs, farmers, and businesses to submit a 300 word abstract for a 15 minute oral paper/presentation.

The theme of the conference will be: Culture, Food and the Environment: New Perspectives on Food Sovereignty and Security.

The deadline for abstracts and visuals proposals will be December 31, 2014, and decisions on abstracts will be sent out in the early part of 2015.

For submissions and any questions, please contact oxford.food.forum.2015@gmail.com.

Please download the Call for Proposals for more information.

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Charles Spence, Professor of Experimental Psychology, took part in a recent Food Programme episode on Radio 4, talking about non-food factors that affect food perception, such as the colour of tableware.

You can listen to the programme on the BBC website here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lsts3

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Our perception of how food tastes is influenced by cutlery, research suggests. Size, weight, shape and colour all have an effect on flavour, says a University of Oxford team.

The study in the journal Flavour suggests the brain makes judgements on food even before it goes in the mouth.

Read more about this research on the BBC news website

Read the journal article in Flavour

Listen to Charles Spence talking about this research on Radio 4's Material World

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Extending NHS weight loss programs from one session per week for 12-weeks to one session per week for a year helped people who are overweight to lose more weight and keep it off for longer, according to a study published in The Lancet, and led by researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Liverpool and University of Oxford.

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This year The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)’s headline series will focus on the relationship between the humanities and the sciences.

Thanks to generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, TORCH is offering joint doctoral studentships and paired research sabbaticals to enable science and humanities postholders in Oxford to develop joint research projects and to provide opportunities for outstanding doctoral students to conduct their research under the joint supervision of a scientist and a humanities scholar.

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Have you ever found yourself preferring to eat with one spoon rather than another? Or maybe you’ve found yourself pondering which is the best set of cutlery to buy for your home, by judging how good it ‘looks’, or rather, how good it ‘feels’ in the hand? While the design (think shape, material, ergonomics) of the cutlery is what we all think that we are judging, maybe what drives our preference for one eating utensil over another is an often overlooked but substantial characteristic: Its weight.

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ITV's Tonight Programme this week looked at the Future of Food, considering what new foods we might be eating in the future, such as insects, and where we might be growing our food, such as urban farms and indoor aquapoonics.

Professor Charles Godfray provides commentary on the items discussed.

Watch the episode on the ITV Player here - available until the end of September 2014.

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The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) is beginning a new local knowledge exchange, impact, and engagement project called Agile-Ox (“Access to Global Environmental Change Insights for Local Enterprise in Oxfordshire”).

The ECI is appointing a Project Co-ordinator to be responsible for overseeing and implementing the day-to-day activities for Agile-Ox. The Project Co-ordinator will also be responsible with others for planning, implementing and monitoring overall strategy.

The post is funded through the UK Research Councils’ Impact Accelerator Funds which seek to increase the impact of the science funded by the Councils.

Agile-Ox aims to increase collaboration between the University and local organisations and individuals in relation to environmentally-related science, management and enterprise.

The Project Co-ordinator will work under the direction of the ECI Director and in collaboration with a variety of colleagues in ECI and across the University including the individual co-ordinators of the ONE environmental networks initiative on biodiversity, climate, energy, food and water.

For more information and how to apply, please see the job details on the Oxford University Recruitment website.

Deadline: 12 September 2014

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