March 18, 2019
The Department of Nutrition will host its 31st Annual Virginia A. Beal Lecture on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in the Campus Center Auditorium. This year, the department welcomes internationally renowned nutritionist and bestselling author T. Colin Campbell to deliver the keynote lecture "The Science of Nutrition, After Some Upgrading, Needs Serious Attention."
Campbell has been dedicated to the science of human health for more than 60 years. His primary focus is on the association between diet and disease, particularly cancer. He is largely known for The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, which has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. The China Study--one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted – has been recognized by The New York Times as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology.” He is also the author of The New York Times bestsellers Whole and The Low-Carb Fraud. Several documentary films feature Dr. Campbell and his research, including Forks Over Knives, Eating You Alive, Food Matters, and PlantPure Nation. Campbell’s profound impact also includes extensive involvement in education, public policy, and laboratory research.
“Engaging such a high-caliber speaker as Dr. Campbell, whose work focuses on a plant-based diet, is not only in keeping with the mission of the department but also is a unique opportunity for students to examine a timely, global health issue,” says Elena Carbone, department chair and associate professor of nutrition. “Debate about plant-based diets is a political, environmental and social issue that students need to hear in order to make informed decisions about their food and their health.”
Nancy Cohen, professor of nutrition and interim dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, adds, “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Campbell to the UMass Amherst campus to share his expertise on diet and the role of plant foods in prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Decades ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to study with Dr. Campbell for my undergraduate honors thesis at Cornell University; his guidance set me on a path to graduate study and beyond. The Virginia A Beal lecture was founded to discuss issues in nutrition from a critical perspective. Dr. Campbell’s talk is bound to be insightful, with a call to action for improving health through sound dietary advice.”
Campbell's lecture is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm following a student poster session and the department's annual scholarship and award ceremony slated from 4:00 to 5:30pm. The lecture and accompanying programming are free and open to the public.
About the Virginia A. Beal Lecture:
In 1989, Professor Emerita Virginia A. Beal, a pioneer in the field of nutrition and a longtime member of the Nutrition faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, established an endowment to provide students, faculty, dietetics professionals, and alumni and friends, with an opportunity to discuss the challenges and advances that are currently at the forefront in the Nutrition field.
The Virginia A. Beal Lectureship Fund is the only endowed lecture in the Department, and has become an anticipated annual tradition. The evening is a celebration of nutrition research, and an opportunity to acknowledge the department's finest students through the presentation of endowed scholarship awards, one of which bears Virginia Beal’s name. Professor Beal presented the first lecture in 1989, and in the intervening years, nationally-renowned researchers in nutrition have spoken at this annual event.