Featured Sessions

Science Versus Sensationalism and Soundbites: How Can Consumers Make More Informed Choices?

Consumers have a history of being cautious in adopting technological innovations in food. Pasteurised milk took years to gain acceptance, and some consumers still use words like 'Frankenfood' to describe genetically altered products that have been with us for decades, never mind newer innovations such as AquAdvantage salmon.

Jacques Rousseau will share his perspective on the reasons why people fear innovation, and how to better equip consumers with the scientific knowledge and resources to assist them in making more informed decisions.

Jacques is Lecturer and Chair of the Academic Freedom Committee at the University of Cape Town. He is also the founder and chairperson of the Free Society Institute, founded in 2009 to promote secular humanism and scientific reasoning in South Africa. Jacques is a regular contributor to public debates on politics, science, and morality in the South African media.

Jacques Rousseau

Telling the Story of Science in an Age of Misunderstanding

In today's society, consumers are overwhelmed with claims of miracle cures and sinister hidden scares, particularly in food. But how do they know if those claims are true? And how can the evidence be twisted? Ben Goldacre charges through the history and magic of evidence based science, using examples of bad science... to explain how good science really works.

Ben is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and medical doctor who specializes in debunking scientific claims made by sources such as scaremongering journalists, government reports, corporations, and quacks. His book, Bad Science, has sold over half a million copies worldwide, reached #1 in the paperback non-fiction charts, and is being published in 31 languages.

Ben Goldacre

Taming Dragons in the Age of Pseudoscience

The scientific community has long struggled with the dark art of mass communications, especially in the age of social media. Academics and health professionals are losing their status as pillars of society, while public opinion is shifting towards self-styled 'pseudoscientists' who disregard peer-reviewed research in a quest for instant fame. A few brave knights have tried to defend 'real' science from their high seats of learning only to suffer humiliating defeat in a very public arena that plays by an entirely different set of rules.

Join Bev Postma as she explores how scientists learn how to tame their social media dragons and ride them into the heart of public debate.

Bev is an international policy specialist with more than 25 years of experience in the agri-food sector. An experienced spokesperson with a deep respect for peer-reviewed science, she is a trusted and respected commentator on human nutrition, biotechnology and food innovation, and a passionate advocate for the future of these tools in tackling food security. Bev is the founder of the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN), and was most recently the Executive Director of FIA, a non-profit which has become the leading voice for the food industry in Asia.

Bev Postma

Consumer Panel: A Clean Label Revolution

There's no doubt the clean label trend is impacting the food industry. so let's hear directly from the consumers. This session will feature original data presented by Paul Metz, Executive Vice President, of C+R Research. Then, a panel of Chicagoland consumers will join the stage to reveal their opinions about products currently on the shelves, and what they'd like to see in the future.

Paul brings a wealth of knowledge about research design and quantitative analysis, and has extensive experience with market segmentation, brand positioning, advertising assessment, and new product development. Prior to joining C+R Research in 1999, Paul worked at The Quaker Oats Company and began his career at M/A/R/C, a custom marketing research agency.

The panel will be moderated by Kat Figatne, Vice President of the Qualitative Team at C+R Research. With over 11 years of market research experience, Kat moderates both traditional and digital qualitative research, including focus groups, ethnographies, shop-alongs, online communities, and mobile journals with consumers and B2B respondents.

Consumer Panel
  Paul Metz, Executive Vice President, C+R Research
Consumer Panel
  Kat Figatner, Vice President, Qualitative Team, C+R Research

Special Session: A Sneak Peek at the Food Evolution Documentary
Monday, July 18--10:15 AM to 11:15 AM, S100 at McCormick Place

Get a sneak peek of several film clips from the completed documentary Food Evolution, and hear from panelists including academy-award nominated Director, Scott Hamilton Kennedy and author, environmental activist, and fellow at Cornell Alliance for Science who is featured in the film, Mark Lynas. IFT’s President-Elect John Coupland, PhD, CFS will moderate the session covering discussion topics that include the misperception of science, the powerful influence of advocacy groups and social media and how the need for scientists to communicate better is paramount for meeting the challenge of feeding over nine billion people in the year 2050.