Friday, April 12, 2013

11th European Farming Systems Symposium 2014

Message just recieved.

Dear Farming Systems Researchers in Europe and Worldwide,

the IFSA Europe steering committee is very pleased to announce the
11th European IFSA Symposium, 1-4 April 2014 in Berlin, Germany, on

Farming systems facing global challenges: Capacities and strategies

The official conference website is now open! 
The IFSA community has a long-standing tradition of engagement and self-organisation. It is in this realm, that farming system scientists are invited to build small teams and to become convenors of workshops. Please find the call for workshops attached. It is  available via our website including an online form to submit workshop proposals. 

And don't forget to invite your friends and colleagues to participate!
Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin next year! 

On behalf of the steering committee and the local organising committee

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our guts: taking a systemic perspective seriously

For many years now I have challenged medicos whenever the opportunity arose about why medicine has never taken seriously the systemic nature of our guts - our intestines.  Very few medical practitioners in my experience understand our guts in ecological, or ecosystemic terms, preferring reductive use of drugs or medical interventions.  Having reached the age I am I would claim that the ecological status of our guts is one of the most significant contributors to daily and long-term wellbeing but also one of the most neglected in terms of mainstream science. I refer to the systemic interactions between diet, infection, bacteria, fungi, parasites and our own physiology and anatomy.  But perhaps things are changing? This article in The Observer suggests that some researchers and medicos are beginning to experiment.

My friend and colleague David Waltner-Toews has taken these matters seriously for a long time.  He also knows a lot about them having just produced a new book called: The Origin of Feces