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FENS WORKING GROUPS: Improving Standards in The Science of Nutrition

FENS will establish three working groups to consider how to improve standards in the science of nutrition. This follows from initial discussions and a Workshop at FENS2019 in Dublin.

Working Group 1 (“Concepts and methodologies”) will focus on what concepts in nutrition science need revision and how this can be achieved, and what will be the consequences for methodologies in order to have credible and capable scientific research.

Working Group 2 (“Organisation, capabilities and funding”) will focus on:

  • how research on nutrition and health is currently organized and funded in different countries and continents, including interactions among the various scientific disciplines;
  • whether that organization is optimal, and, if not, what structures, capabilities and interactions are required;
  • how nutrition science is communicated “internally” (i.e. within the scientific world);
  • how nutrition science can better recognise and deal with interactions with different stakeholders, including industry.

Working Group 3 (“External communication and public trust”) will deal with the steps required to better assure “public trust” in nutrition science. “Public” includes those professionals who apply nutrition sciences in their daily practice as well as consumers and patients.

Each working group will have a Chair and a Secretary and up to 6 other members who will be a mix of established and early career researchers. Members of the working groups will be, as far as possible, spread equally across European countries and have a diverse distribution. Member’s responsibilities will be to:

  • attend and actively contribute to the discussions of the working group;
  • review the documents that are the input for discussions;
  • support the Secretary with required (scientific) input on updating discussion documents.

Each year (in 2020, 2021, and 2022) a 2-day face-to-face meeting will be organised to have a discussion within each working group (1 day) and between the working groups, the Steering Group, and the Advisory Committee (1 day). The frequency of digital meetings will be determined in close contact with the Chair and Secretary of the steering group.

It is aimed to complete the overall activity 6 months before the next FENS conference in Belgrade in 2023. It is anticipated that each working group will report its findings at that conference.

Nominations for members of the working groups will come FENS member societies. If individuals wish to JOIN a working group they must contact their member society to request nomination. Nominations close soon!