Nutrition: A reservoir for integrative science

S. H. Zeisel, L. H. Allen, S. P. Coburn, J. W. Erdman, M. L. Failla, H. C. Freake, J. C. King, J. Storch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the last twenty years, powerful new molecular techniques were introduced that made it possible to advance knowledge in human biology using a reductionist approach. Now, the need for scientists to deal with complexity should drive a movement toward an integrationist approach to science. We propose that nutritional science is one of the best reservoirs for this approach. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences can play an important role by developing and delivering a cogent message that convinces the scientific establishment that nutrition fills this valuable niche. The society must develop a comprehensive strategy to develop our image as the reservoir for life sciences integration. Our efforts can start with our national meeting and publications, with the research initiatives for which we advocate, with our graduate training programs and with the public relations image we project for ourselves. Defining the image and future directions of nutrition as the discipline that can integrate scientific knowledge from the cell and molecule to the whole body and beyond to populations can be the most important task that our society undertakes. If we do not effectively meet this challenge, a golden opportunity will pass to others and nutritional scientists will be left to follow them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1321
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • American Society for Nutritional Sciences
  • Long range planning
  • Nutrition
  • Scientific integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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