Oregon State University

Eating Good in the Neighborhood

The Medical and Moral History of Dietary Localism

Historian Steven Shapin talks about those modern do-gooders, locavores.

7:00p Wednesday 15 May 2008, Oregon State University


Shapin posterSteven Shapin

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Steven Shapin is the Franklin L Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. His current research interests include historical and contemporary studies of dietetics, the nature of entrepreneurial science, and modern relations between academia and industry.

In late 2007 the Oxford University Press anointed “locavore” Word of the Year. (Some San Franciscans who thought it a good idea to eat only foods produced within a 100-mile radius made up the word in 2005.) Locavores assume they are doing good for the palate and the planet. They also tend to believe that we should reject modern globalization and return to the smaller communities of the past. But have they gotten their history right? Steven’s talk explores how medical and moral traditions from antiquity to recent times have thought about local and exotic diets and reflects on changing conceptions of the self and the place of food in our lives.


Books by Steven

LeviathinLeviathan and the Airpump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life

scientific lifeThe Scientific Life: A Moral History of a late Modern Vocation

never pureNever Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority


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