Current Activities

Public Engagement

Public Lecture Series:

Sponsored by Norwich Medical School, UEA

The following public lectures were postponed from 2020 because of the COVID-19 lockdown.  They will take place virtually on the dates shown below:

1. “What is the Best Diet for the Planet?” - 27 January 2021 - 4pm-5.30pm.

You can watch a video of Dr Peter Scarborough's presentation here.

2.  "What is the Best Diet for the Economy?”  -  24 February 2021 - 4pm-5.30pm.

Just in case you missed it, or if you need access to information in Dr Stefan Penczinski's slides, you can:
-->> download a PDF of his presentation here. <<--

or you can watch a video of Dr Stefan Penczinski's presentation here.

3. "What is the Best Diet for Health?” - 24 March 2021 - 4pm-5.30pm.

You can watch a video of Dr Shireen Kassam's presentation here.


 

Silvia Panizza has spoken at the UCD Law Society Debate ‘This House would go Vegan’ on 22 October 2019

Rupert Read has participated in the Norwich Science Festival Balloon debate, answering the question: ‘Can Veganism Save the Planet?’ on 27 October 2019

Research

Stefan Penczynski is working experimentally on decision processes and behaviour change in the context of dietary choices. For example, information about a food product’s health-related and environmental impact has a large potential to affect food choices in the direction of plant-based options. Such results suggest that we can improve dietary guidelines to reflect the behavioural and motivational aspects of dietary choices and truly guide the consumers in their journey towards an ambitious goal. Stefan is currently initiating work on status concerns in food consumption, which might be of particular relevance in developing countries.

Joshua Tasoff is working on the following projects:

  1. Eating To Save The Planet: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial Using Individual-Level Food Purchase Data
  1. Lab studies on information preferences, cognitive dissonance, moral cost function. with Huet-Vaughn and Vivalt.
  1. Leafletting RCT to measure impact of pro-vegan animal-welfare pamphlets on real food purchases.

Silvia Panizza has worked on a project about moral motivation in animal ethics and the phenomenon of ‘moral impossibility’ in relation to the consumption of animal products.

Collaborations: She welcomes expressions of interest in collaboration especially from psychologists who are interested in the framing of possibilities when animals are perceived as ‘not something to eat’

Her article can be viewed here: "If Veganism Is Not a Choice: The Moral Psychology of Possibilities in Animal Ethics".

Michael Brock is working on attitudes to recycling. The overlap with veganism, as he sees it, is that people may behave in a vegan-orientated manner without considering the true sustainability of their actions. We see that people will consume more recyclable material because it is able to be recycled, but really the better outcome would be a reduction on usage of packaging etc. There are parallels here with people believing that a vegan-lifestyle will be good for the environment, but then consuming vegan foods that are very carbon-intensive.

Teaching

Katie Pak is introducing a Lifestyle Medicine, student selected study module to the undergraduate MBBS medical course at UEA from September 2019. This will allow students to explore aspects of lifestyle relevant to health, in particular the impact of a whole food plant based diet on disease management but more importantly, prevention. As part of this project Katie is looking forward to attending the ‘VegMed’ conference in London this coming autumn which is Europe’s biggest scientific conference on plant based nutrition.

Silvia Panizza has introduced teaching on “The use of animals in biomedical research” in Year 1 of the MBBS curriculum at Norwich Medical School in 2019.

She has delivered a one-day workshop on ‘Animal Ethics’ at the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education in April 2019.

She will be convening a second-year Applied Ethics module at University College Dublin in 2020 focused on ‘the limits of humanity’ in relation to other animals and the natural world.

Shireen Kassam has developed the first UK University course on plant-based nutrition. The course is a 6-week online course aimed at health professionals who would like to increase their knowledge on plant-based diets and use this in their clinical practice as part of a lifestyle approach to preventing and treating chronic disease. The course has been developed at Winchester University whose core values include social justice and sustainability. More information can be found here.