Young scientists on the future of food


In April of this year, a collection of young scientists from a diverse range of academic backgrounds and regions gathered at Villa Vigoni to discuss the nature of our food system. The Networking Conference for Young Scientists was jointly organised by the ISSC and the International Council for Science (ICSU), and kindly funded by the DFG. A major goal of the event was to bring together this collection of promising early career researchers to identify key research questions on the food systems of the future.

These questions will feed into the Future Earth research agenda on food.Meeting the demand for food, energy and water as world population increases is a complex challenge. With an expected population of around 9 billion in 2050, innovative thinking — particularly from the next generation of research leaders — is required to ensure food security in the face of global environmental change, changes in water availability and competition between different land uses.

Some participants have since published papers based on the outcomes of the conference. A vision in transdisciplinarity in Future Earth: Perspectives from young researchers was published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. And Meeting the growing demand for food and bioenergy in the 21st century: synergies through efficient waste management was published in the journal Biofuels.

The next conference in the series is scheduled to take place in May 2014. A call for applications will be launched soon.