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Seminar on the interdisciplinary approach to food security
Food security: an interdisciplinary approach
Wednesday November 5, 2014 Image: Warwick
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


November 5, 2014
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


The University of Warwick Brussels Office 6th floor
Avenue d'Auderghem 22-28
Brussels, 1040 Belgium
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The University of Warwick

On Wednesday November 5 at 16.00 a seminar on the interdisciplinary approach to food security is held. The event will be followed by a cocktail reception and will be hosted at the University of Warwick Brussels Office.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Food Security Policy

To address the complex issue of ‘food security’, researchers at the University of Warwick bring together issues of food production and supply, environmental and social sustainability, governance (including science and technology), complexity and tools for decision making, social justice, nutrition and public health. This interdisciplinary approach draws on crop production, cell biology, public health, political science, social policy, mathematics and statistics, history, philosophy and the performing arts.

The session

In this short session we will talk about systematic approaches we are taking to consider and inform any policy related to food security, working in different disciplines and at different scales.

Any policy to address ‘food security’ needs to network together expert evidence coming from many different and disparate areas, which nevertheless interlock and interact.

At the University of Warwick we are working with particular policy actors on specific case studies to understand under what conditions different kinds of evidence from all of these disparate areas can be coherently combined, as if by a single logical decision-maker, and how such a network can be used to compare the effects of different policies on each of the areas food security affects (health, education, social cohesion, etc.).

It is also important to understand when new evidence can be incorporated in a coherent way and how uncertainties in the evidence can be retained so as to give a measure of uncertainty in the solution. We will describe some of the case studies we have undertaken and discuss future research.


16.00 Registration

16.10 Welcome and Introduction – Mr Geoff Moede Moderator

16.15 Professor Jim Smith (University of Warwick) will talk on building a decision support system for food security. We will discuss how decision support systems can help inform policy choices and provide narratives for the eventual decision. These build on experiences of successful development of support systems for the nuclear industry. We outline various challenges for developing analogous designed to support policy design to ameliorate the impact of various food crises on food poverty within the UK. We then proceed to describe tentatively how these systems might be scaled up to help inform and try to address the analogous challenges faced by European policymakers.

16.35 Dr Martin J. Barons (University of Warwick) will talk on her work with local government and provide an example of the impact on UK food poverty of a single foodstuff (sugar). We will describe recent developments associated with UK food policy decision support. We will describe some aspects of working with domain experts and demonstrate the types of processes used to elicit a structure which will be helpful to policymakers in drawing together information and forming a consensus.

16.55 Discussion debate moderaded by Mr Geoff Moede will include:

Dr Albino Maggio – European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre – Foresight and Behavioural Insight
Dr Patrik Kolar – European Commission – DG Research and Innovation – Head of Unit of Agri-Food Chain Unit
Mr Zoran Kovac – Programme coordinator at the Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) – TBC
Dr Rosemary Collier – Director of Warwick Crop Centre and an Academic Lead for the Warwick Global Research Priority (GRP) on Food
Professor Elizabeth Dowler – Food & Social Policy in the Sociology Department, The University of Warwick

For registrations please click here.

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