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PhD course “Food, Medicine and Philosophy in East and West”

January 7, 2014 - 00:00-January 27, 2014 - 00:00

What determines what we eat? Nat. science, culture, philosophy or religion? Is the human body more than a chemical machine? Widely diff. diet and health traditions come closer in a globalized world but understanding other traditions is difficult. Food/health topics relate to nat. science as well as to culture/philosophy/religion. Food/medicine differ between East/West, in mixtures of natural/social/human sci- ences. This course helps understand the scientific interactions, con- trasts and synergies.

This broadening PhD course aims to give PhD students an improved understanding of the scientific, cultural and philosophical background for specific diet habits and health views. We couple field work (universities, hospitals, food markets, religious sites) with insights into the basics of natural, social and human sciences (the 3 main academic domains). Specifically, we will contrast some traditions of the Western world with those in the far East (particularly China). This makes us aware of both the potentials and the limitations of Western scientific principles and their role in diet and health globalization. We aim to realize that PhD = doctor of philosophy…

The course is highly inter-disciplinary and contains topics from very different disciplines (food science, nutrition, medicine, pharmacology, business, sociology, philosophy, religion). All course participants are expected to contribute to a fruitful cross-talk among the different fields. Each student picks a focus area that supports his/hers own specific PhD program or general learning.
Course duration, credits (3 options) and exam:
Full course, Denmark + China: 3 weeks, 6 ECTS
Denmark or China, with report: 2 weeks, 4 ECTS
Denmark + China, without report: 1 week, 2 ECTS
Examination by course report and presentation (pass/fail). The course language is English.
Target students:
PhD students studying food-health issues from widely different fields (e.g. nutrition, food
science, medicine, pharmacy, sociology, anthropology, business, philosophy, religion). Few
MSc students or others may also participate. All nationalities are welcome and international
exchange encouraged. The course is run by Dept. Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences,
University of Copenhagen
General course outline:
The course consists of lectures, report work and excursions in Copenhagen and South China. An
intense series of lectures is combined with an independent investigation into a chosen topic,
ideally related to the student´s own PhD topic (suggestions below). By the end of the course,
students prepare a written report (3-5 pages, 1½ line spacing, 12 pt.), to be presented for the
other students (Powerpoint, 10 min + discussion), and examined by the course coordinators.

Please read more about the course. 



PhD course “Food, Medicine and Philosophy in East and West”


January 7, 2014 - 00:00
January 27, 2014 - 00:00