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You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

One of the great success stories of the last century or so in the history of science is the understanding of nutrition and food chemistry. Thanks to nutrition science and related fields, we now have reliable knowledge of the components and functions of our food. Yet nutrition science is a very recent achievement, and it represents a major break from ways of thinking about our food and our bodies that characterized Western culture for almost two millennia. This talk introduces the medical tradition once known as "dietetics" ("regimen" or "hygiene"), which was dominant from Antiquity through the 17th and 18th centuries, and it brings a historical perspective to bear on taken-for-granted aspects of present-day thinking about our food, our relationship to scientific expertise, and our place in nature.

Reception to Follow

Series Media Sponsor

This event is part of the From Stone Age to Internet Age: How Science Has Evolved over Time Series, which also includes the following events:

Science as a Modern Creation Story: An Evening with David Christian
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
From Stone Tools to the Internet: How Humans Adapt to Technology
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century
Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Historic Tales of the Periodic Table: An Evening with Sam Kean
Thursday, February 17, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Register for the whole series now.


Steven Shapin, PhD

Steven Shapin has been the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University since 2004. Previously he was Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego, and at the Science Studies Unit, Edinburgh University. He has published widely in the historical sociology of scientific knowledge, and his current research interests include historical and contemporary studies of dietetics, the nature of entrepreneurial science, and modern relations between academia and industry. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and has written for The New Yorker.

His awards include the J. D. Bernal Prize of the Society for Social Studies of Science (for career contributions to the field), the Ludwik Fleck Prize of 4S and the Robert K. Merton Prize of the American Sociological Association (for his book A Social History of Truth), the Herbert Dingle Prize of the British Society for the History of Science (for his book The Scientific Revolution), a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. With Simon Schaffer, he was the 2005 winner of the Erasmus Prize, conferred by HRH the Prince of Orange of the Netherlands, for contributions to European culture, society, or social science.

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