|History of ARS Nutrition Research|
The genesis of this book came from two symposia. The first—the W.O. Atwater Centennial Celebration Symposium: An Evaluation of Progress in Human Nutrition—was held in Washington, DC, June 2-4, 1993. (The proceedings were published in the Journal of Nutrition, volume 124, pages 1707S-1890S, 1994.) The symposium briefly surveyed Dr. Atwater’s contributions to the initiation of human nutrition research and education activities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), but it focused primarily on the current status and future needs of these activities in the Department. The second symposium—Legacy of Wilbur O. Atwater: Human Nutrition Research Expansion in ARS/USDA—was held during the 2007 Experimental Biology (EB ’07) annual meeting in Washington, DC. (The proceedings were published in the Journal of Nutrition, volume 139, pages 171-193, 2009.) Again, the symposium briefly reviewed Dr. Atwater’s initiation of human nutrition research activities within the Department, but it highlighted the tremendous expansion of these efforts during the decades of the 1960s through the 1980s. Missing in the proceedings of the two symposia were the details and societal impacts of the achievements of USDA’s many scientists and other staff members who quietly worked in their laboratories and offices for over a century since Dr. Atwater’s era.
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