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Nutrition in Transition FENS2019 Workshop Edith Feskens

Workshop at FENS2019

Dublin, October 14, 2019

Robust nutrition sciences

Regaining trust and restoring relevance


Background of Nutrition in Transition

In the midst of increasing societal challenges, the nutrition sciences are faced with a loss of public credibility and a need for innovative methodologies. This workshop will interactively explore how the nutrition sciences can regain the trust of the public and restore the discipline’s former relevance for pressing health issues, by addressing, for instance, the challenges of healthy and sustainable diets. The event builds on the analysis by the Dutch Foundation Nutrition in Transition: ‘Capable and credible: challenging nutrition sciences’ (2017, European Journal of Nutrition, 56:6)), and the scientific need to develop a common basis for transdisciplinary research (FENS, FNH-RI).


The FENS satellite workshop brings together scientific disciplines that are related to nutrition sciences. It unites about 100 personally invited experts from academia, governmental bodies, NGO’s and industrial organizations.


Identify and discuss pathways to improve the robustness of the nutrition sciences and restore public trust.


The workshop applies the World Café method that facilitates discussion within and among alternating groups of participants. In several rounds, groups meet around four thematic discussion tables and will

  1. discuss which science domains are crucial for researching food, nutrition, and health, and their societal contexts
  2. reconsider concepts like ‘health’, ‘proof’, ‘causality’, and the need for a shared ontology for nutrition sciences
  3. find ways to extend classic research methods towards innovative approaches for key societal challenges
  4. discuss scientific-societal co-creation pathways to achieve societal benefit and restore public trust


  • A primary analysis of the event will be presented during the conference in the following days.
  • Workshop results will be published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.
  • Workshop outcomes will provide the initiating input for the new FENS working group ‘Standards in Nutrition Sciences’.

Thank you for appreciating our initiative,

Edith Feskens and Jan de Vries (co-chairs Foundation Nutrition in Transition)

Philip Calder (co-chair FENS Conference Dublin 2019)

Pieter van ’t Veer (Food Nutrition and Health Research Infrastructure, FNH-RI)