Litwak Lecture will examine food systems and their contribution to health

April 10, 2024

Eugene Litwak, Emeritus Professor and former head of the Division (now department) of Sociomedical Sciences was an innovative social theorist and public health leader. He advanced the field of sociomedical sciences, helping position Columbia Mailman School of Public Health at its forefront. Since 2007, the Department of Sociomedical Sciences has hosted an annual public lecture named in his honor.

Jessica Fanzo, PhD - Professor of Climate and Director of the Food for Humanity Initiative, Columbia Climate School

We are proud to annouce Jessica Fanzo, PhD as the speaker for the 2024 Annual Eugene Litwak Honorary Lecture. Fanzo is a Professor of Climate and Food, Director, Food for Humanity Initiative, Interim Director, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at the Columbia Climate School. Her research focuses on the transdisciplinary field of food systems and the linkages between agriculture, health, and the environment in climate-impacted countries that have limited resources. 

Professor Fanzo will be shining a light on food systems for improved diets, health, and environmental sustainability. This lecture will discuss how evidence and data can help navigate decision-makers out of the dark and shed light on food systems and their importance in improving diets, health, and environmental sustainability.

"At a time when facts, evidence, and data are under ever greater scrutiny and even openly disregarded as suspect by some, the rigors of science and evidence must be maintained. Data and research can bring about wholesale changes in attitudes, political thought, and action and have a vital role in charting a positive and sustainable direction for positive food system transformation."

Professor Fanzo will highlight some of the larger collaborations her team has initiated, including the Food Systems Dashboard and the Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative.  

"We are living in a complex time of global challenges – climate change and environmental degradation, mounting social upheaval and inequities, and increasing public health and food insecurity risks. Food systems sit at the center of these challenges and are considered part of the problem, but can also be a solution."

The lecture will take place on April 24th, 11:45-1:00pm in Hess Commons at the Allan Rosenfiled Building (722 West 168th Street, NY 10032). A recording will be upload to the SMS website.