Expert will discuss the future of food: Cal Lutheran presentations to look at ethical questions


Event Details



Food systems of the future and the ethical questions they raise will be the topic of free lectures at California Lutheran University.

Paul B. Thompson, an expert on food sources and community ethics, will discuss “Probing Future Foods” during the annual Harold Stoner Clark Lectures on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus. He will present “Four Archetypes for Future Food Systems” at 11:10 a.m. and “Social Amplification of Risk: The Ethical Questions” at 4 p.m. Brian Collins, an assistant professor of philosophy at Cal Lutheran, will present a pre-lecture overview and discussion at 11:45 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Lundring Events Center.

Technological innovations and environmental constraints are driving changes to what we eat. Climate change, increased urbanization and growing scarcity of resources relative to human population will stress our food systems over the next 50 years. Thompson will probe how we can bring ethics to bear on the changes, emphasizing the way that we assess the risks of new food technology.

Thompson is the W.K. Kellogg Professor of Agricultural, Food and Community Ethics at Michigan State University. His research explores ethical issues arising across the spectrum of food production, distribution and consumption including biotechnology, animal welfare and food security.

He is a two-time winner of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Award for Excellence in Communication, and his 2015 book, “From Field to Fork: Food Ethics for Everyone,” was selected as Book of the Year by the North American Society for Social Philosophy. He also wrote the 2010 book “The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics (Culture of the Land).”

Thompson has advised the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Genome Canada and farm producer groups. He served on the International Advisory Panel for the PEGASAS project on Animal Biotechnology and was a founding member of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, which awarded him its Distinguished Career Contribution in Research award in 2013.

The late Harold Stoner Clark endowed the free lecture series, which started in 1985, requesting that presentations address his dual interests of science and philosophy. Cal Lutheran’s Department of Philosophy sponsors the talks.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane. Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center on the north side of Olsen Road near Mountclef Boulevard. For more information, contact Nathan Tierney at 805-493-3232 or tierney@callutheran.eduor visit callutheran.edu/hsc.

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