On Monday, June 9, the National Academies hosted a workshop that discussed ways to integrate food-supply studies with research in the health sciences, and looked for new opportunities for interdisciplinary research and collaboration among government, university, and private scientists. The workshop was sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and featured presentations by John Marburger, director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Joseph Jen, undersecretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Tommy Thompson, secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The workshop, “Exploring a Vision: Integrating Knowledge for Food and Health,” focused on the public health challenges that are driving new forms of agricultural research that do not fit neatly within one scientific discipline. Attendees, including, General Mills, National Institutes of Health, and state and land grant university deans and chancellors, addressed ways to ensure a safe and adequate food supply that is grown in an environmentally friendly manner, and to develop foods with increased nutritional and possibly pharmaceutical benefits, agricultural researchers are increasingly collaborating with colleagues in the biomedical sciences and other fields. The results of the workshop will be presented as a report in September 2003.