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1 BA Festival of Science 2004 Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being a Scientist” Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being.

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Presentation on theme: "1 BA Festival of Science 2004 Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being a Scientist” Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 BA Festival of Science 2004 Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being a Scientist” Festival of ScienceTheme: “The responsibility of being a Scientist”

2 2 Institute of Food Science & Technology Prof J Ralph Blanchfield, MBE Chair, External Affairs Institute of Food Science & Technology President Elect International Academy of Food Science & Technology Food science, food technology and food law consultant Prof J Ralph Blanchfield, MBE Chair, External Affairs Institute of Food Science & Technology President Elect International Academy of Food Science & Technology Food science, food technology and food law consultant

3 3 Institute of Food Science & Technology “Can we trust these food scientists?”

4 4 Institute of Food Science & Technology “Can we trust scientists?”

5 5 Institute of Food Science & Technology Well, first of all, what is “science”? Well, first of all, what is “science”?

6 6 Institute of Food Science & Technology The term “science” is often used to mean any of the following:  All scientists  Government scientists  Industrial company scientists  Science facts we learn at school  What scientists do in laboratories  The results of scientific discoveries  How industry uses scientific discoveries  How governments use scientific discoveries The term “science” is often used to mean any of the following:  All scientists  Government scientists  Industrial company scientists  Science facts we learn at school  What scientists do in laboratories  The results of scientific discoveries  How industry uses scientific discoveries  How governments use scientific discoveries

7 7 Institute of Food Science & Technology All these are true aspects of science, but don’t get to the heart of the matter. So what is the core reality of “science”? All these are true aspects of science, but don’t get to the heart of the matter. So what is the core reality of “science”?

8 8 Institute of Food Science & Technology Science is: A methodical process of 1. Obtaining knowledge 2. thinking about knowledge 3. testing our ideas 4. and systematically organising knowledge about our universe and world Science is: A methodical process of 1. Obtaining knowledge 2. thinking about knowledge 3. testing our ideas 4. and systematically organising knowledge about our universe and world

9 9 Institute of Food Science & Technology Obtaining knowledge: by observing and recording what is already there; or by setting up an experiment and observing the results Obtaining knowledge: by observing and recording what is already there; or by setting up an experiment and observing the results

10 10 Institute of Food Science & Technology Thinking about knowledge: Does it suggest a pattern? Does it lead to any conclusion? How can that “hypothesis” be tested? Thinking about knowledge: Does it suggest a pattern? Does it lead to any conclusion? How can that “hypothesis” be tested?

11 11 Institute of Food Science & Technology Testing an hypothesis: Set up an experiment. Publish results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Can other scientists repeat it and get the same results? Do the results seem to confirm the hypothesis? If so, the hypothesis becomes a “theory” -- but Testing an hypothesis: Set up an experiment. Publish results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Can other scientists repeat it and get the same results? Do the results seem to confirm the hypothesis? If so, the hypothesis becomes a “theory” -- but

12 12 Institute of Food Science & Technology A theory is based on interpretation of current knowledge, and it is thus open to challenge: 1. by other scientists suggesting different conclusions; or 2. by later research adding new knowledge that now has to be taken into account A theory is based on interpretation of current knowledge, and it is thus open to challenge: 1. by other scientists suggesting different conclusions; or 2. by later research adding new knowledge that now has to be taken into account

13 13 Institute of Food Science & Technology Scientists (including food scientists) who professionally, honestly, ethically and objectively adhere to the scientific methodology outlined, can be trusted. They do valuable work for society in many fields. Are there some who call themselves “scientists” who cannot be trusted? Scientists (including food scientists) who professionally, honestly, ethically and objectively adhere to the scientific methodology outlined, can be trusted. They do valuable work for society in many fields. Are there some who call themselves “scientists” who cannot be trusted?

14 14 Institute of Food Science & Technology Untrustworthy “scientists”? Yes, every community has a few “rogues” —  who falsify or suppress results for gain or glory; or  who present speculation as though it were established fact; or  who assert that an apparent association between A and B proves that A causes B; or  who are militant zealots and campaigners for or against something. No matter what scientific qualifications they have, they are untrustworthy. Untrustworthy “scientists”? Yes, every community has a few “rogues” —  who falsify or suppress results for gain or glory; or  who present speculation as though it were established fact; or  who assert that an apparent association between A and B proves that A causes B; or  who are militant zealots and campaigners for or against something. No matter what scientific qualifications they have, they are untrustworthy.

15 15 Institute of Food Science & Technology Are there any yardsticks the public can use to judge trustworthiness of scientists? Letters after the name? Membership of the recognised professional body? (but membership not mandatory to practise – and multiple specialisms) Are there any yardsticks the public can use to judge trustworthiness of scientists? Letters after the name? Membership of the recognised professional body? (but membership not mandatory to practise – and multiple specialisms)

16 16 Institute of Food Science & Technology “These food scientists” include members of IFST, the UK-based professional body of food scientists and technologists What yardsticks of trustworthiness does IFST provide? “These food scientists” include members of IFST, the UK-based professional body of food scientists and technologists What yardsticks of trustworthiness does IFST provide?

17 17 Institute of Food Science & Technology Totally independent of government of industry of lobbying groups Not-for-profit Self-governing Self-funding Totally independent of government of industry of lobbying groups Not-for-profit Self-governing Self-funding

18 18 Institute of Food Science & Technology Collaborates in the public interest with government academia consumer bodies industry Retains complete independence Collaborates in the public interest with government academia consumer bodies industry Retains complete independence

19 19 Institute of Food Science & Technology Who are our members?  Individuals, not companies  Elected in their personal capacities on the basis of their qualifications and experience  Represent no-one but themselves  Undertake to adhere to the ethical Code of Professional Conduct Who are our members?  Individuals, not companies  Elected in their personal capacities on the basis of their qualifications and experience  Represent no-one but themselves  Undertake to adhere to the ethical Code of Professional Conduct

20 20 Institute of Food Science & Technology Where do our members work?  Food and ingredients manufacturing  Food product development  Food retailing and distribution  Foodservice  University teaching and research  Research Institutes ; Research Associations  Government departments and agencies  Local government: Food law enforcement  Consultancy Where do our members work?  Food and ingredients manufacturing  Food product development  Food retailing and distribution  Foodservice  University teaching and research  Research Institutes ; Research Associations  Government departments and agencies  Local government: Food law enforcement  Consultancy

21 21 Institute of Food Science & Technology The first of our four purposes is: To serve the public interest by furthering the application of science and technology to all aspects of the supply of safe, wholesome, nutritious and attractive food, nationally and internationally. The first of our four purposes is: To serve the public interest by furthering the application of science and technology to all aspects of the supply of safe, wholesome, nutritious and attractive food, nationally and internationally.

22 22 Institute of Food Science & Technology The other three purposes? (2) To advance the standing of food science and technology, both as a subject and as a profession; (3) To assist members in their career and personal development within the profession; (4) To uphold professional standards of competence and integrity The other three purposes? (2) To advance the standing of food science and technology, both as a subject and as a profession; (3) To assist members in their career and personal development within the profession; (4) To uphold professional standards of competence and integrity

23 23 Institute of Food Science & Technology To uphold professional standards of competence ……….. by the strict standards of qualifications and experience required for entry to professional membership To uphold professional standards of competence ……….. by the strict standards of qualifications and experience required for entry to professional membership

24 24 Institute of Food Science & Technology To uphold professional standards of integrity ……… by requiring a signed undertaking to comply with IFST’s ethical Code of Professional Conduct To uphold professional standards of integrity ……… by requiring a signed undertaking to comply with IFST’s ethical Code of Professional Conduct

25 25 Institute of Food Science & Technology IFST’s ethical Code of Professional Conduct Twelve simple ethical principles Ten detailed Professional Conduct Guidelines expounding the principles in foreseeable situations “Teeth”? IFST’s ethical Code of Professional Conduct Twelve simple ethical principles Ten detailed Professional Conduct Guidelines expounding the principles in foreseeable situations “Teeth”?

26 26 Institute of Food Science & Technology To assist members in their career and personal development within the profession New knowledge is accumulating at such a rate that to stay fully competent food scientists and technologists need to make special efforts to keep up-to-date. IFST Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme To assist members in their career and personal development within the profession New knowledge is accumulating at such a rate that to stay fully competent food scientists and technologists need to make special efforts to keep up-to-date. IFST Continuing Professional Development (CPD) scheme

27 27 Institute of Food Science & Technology We communicate with members and the public via  Publications: International Journal of FST Food Science & Technology Keynote Monographs eg Good Manufacturing Practice  Website:  Careers Website:  Information Statements -- We communicate with members and the public via  Publications: International Journal of FST Food Science & Technology Keynote Monographs eg Good Manufacturing Practice  Website:  Careers Website:  Information Statements --

28 28 Institute of Food Science & Technology Information Statements BSE Dioxins and PCB’s in Food Genetic modification and food AIDS and the food handler Dietary fibre Organic foods Food allergens - and many more Information Statements BSE Dioxins and PCB’s in Food Genetic modification and food AIDS and the food handler Dietary fibre Organic foods Food allergens - and many more

29 29 Institute of Food Science & Technology Information Statements l What are they? l Who prepares them? l Who approves them? l How do we make sure they are objective? Information Statements l What are they? l Who prepares them? l Who approves them? l How do we make sure they are objective?

30 30 Institute of Food Science & Technology Prof J Ralph Blanchfield, MBE Chair, External Affairs Institute of Food Science & Technology President Elect International Academy of Food Science & Technology Food science, food technology and food law consultant Prof J Ralph Blanchfield, MBE Chair, External Affairs Institute of Food Science & Technology President Elect International Academy of Food Science & Technology Food science, food technology and food law consultant

31 31 Institute of Food Science & Technology Responsibility to learn more about our food Dr Anil de Sequeira, Department Leader Department of Food Studies School of Science and the Environment Bath Spa University College Responsibility to learn more about our food Dr Anil de Sequeira, Department Leader Department of Food Studies School of Science and the Environment Bath Spa University College

32 32 Institute of Food Science & Technology Can our food ever be safe? Mr Peter Berry Ottaway Chairman IFST Technical & Legislative Committee Can our food ever be safe? Mr Peter Berry Ottaway Chairman IFST Technical & Legislative Committee


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