Category Archives: Statements


A Word with the International Council for Science

You might be aware that the International Council for Science is the international organization that unites scientists from all disciplines, to help them work together towards being significant to society at large. In that sense, it was good to have IUFoST become a member. (IUFoST was elected to ICSU in 1998). Now it is one of 31 unions that forms this international organization, together with 141 countries.

All these people getting together and producing results, either through research or exchange or capacity building can improve the way science is relevant not only in a few places in the world but all over the planet. Such a Congress as this is widely significant because this is the way the International Council for Science (ICSU) comes alive. We see that the meeting together of established scientists with younger generations and students inspire those on how to go about providing more safe food for the whole planet, and this is one of the main drivers of sustainability. We are entering a world that will soon have 9 billion inhabitants. We must define a way to spread our resources more evenly in order to provide livelihood for all of those human beings in a more stable way, dealing with the only planet we have.

This is another problem, we are overusing the planet, we are not realizing this now, but this will cost future generations. We have the duty as Scientists to alert other contingencies of the urgency to get in a more stable relationship with the planet that sustains us. I think this is an extraordinary opportunity, a congress of 2800 participants and young people from Brazil, from all over Latin America and even outside Latin America and Delegations from over 40 nations. This really is the way in which the scientific community can get together in one specialty and start to work and find better solutions for the problems of the earth. This is the spirit of what ICSU is, to have these types of meetings available, to discuss how it should be.

– Professor Sergio Jorge Pastrana

(International Council for Science: Vice-President for External Relations)

Q & A with Jose Aguilera from Chile

Jose Aguilera at the “Meet the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” session, chaired by Geoffrey Campbell-Platt

Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing or what you hope to be accomplished at this conference?

A: This is a very important conference because I don’t know of other conferences that have a such worldwide view of foods, other than maybe IFT and then ISFE, but this is in a sense the most important congress about science and the advances of food because it embraces all areas of food and is so international.

Q: What are your first impressions of the conference?

A: The first thing that impresses me is the attendance- there are just so many people. And so many young people which is very nice; the students are very important. Also I see a lot foreign students, which is always good, and as I said, the breadth of the subjects is what impresses me the most.

Q: Is there a particular role that you wish that young scientists would take both internationally and in Chile?

A: I can talk more from the point of developing countries, they are going through crucial things regarding foods, first of all we have to feed our people, and when we are feeding our people, now we are faced with a phenomenon that didn’t exist 20 years ago: poor people are getting fat, they’re getting obese, and even though they’re spending almost all of their money on little food, they’re getting obese, so that’s one issue.

Another issue is that most of our economy depends on exporting things like coffee, cocoa, wine, salmon, and so on and so we have to guarantee the quality of our foods, so there is a lot of work to do in our own countries about greener agriculture; we have to show the world that we are concerned about water, energy, and how we cultivate things, how we manage the slaughtering of animals and all that kind of stuff, the same things as all of the countries we want to export to, which may not be the way it’s done in other countries, so there are opportunities for our students to work helping our industry. Regulation is another area because have to comply with world regulations, we want to do world commerce, and that’s always more stringent and so that’s another challenge.

So building institutions is very important. In 2012, the first agency in Chile for food quality and safety was built- we didn’t have a safety authority for food before,  so institution building is a very critical thing back home.