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W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture

The W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecture was established in 1968 to honor the memory of Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907) and to recognize scientists who have made unique contributions toward improving the diet and nutrition of people around the world. Atwater, considered the father of modern nutrition research and education, was the U.S. Department of Agriculture's first chief of nutrition investigations.

The lecture, co-sponsored by the American Society for Nutrition,is on a research topic, scientific trend or policy issue of the Lecturer's choice. An honorarium of $2,000, a medallion, and expenses to attend the meeting to present the Lecture are part of the award.

2020 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer

Richard MattesRichard Mattes, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Predictive Strength of Atwater Values at the Biology: Behavior Interface

The Atwater Lecture was to be presented at Nutrition 2020, the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, May 30-June 2, 2020, which will not be held this year in due to the impacts of COVID-19. Instead, Mattes will present his lecture and be honored at Nutrition 2021 in Boston. 

Call for Nominations

2022 W. O. Atwater Memorial Lecture

The Agricultural Research Service will not be seeking nominations for the 2021 W.O. Atwater Memorial Lecturer. Nominations will resume for the 2022 Atwater Lecture.

To nominate someone, send a letter explaining the nominee's contributions to nutrition and the candidate’s current CV to

Deadline for nominations — Fall 2021 (Deadline TBD)

Nominees may be outstanding senior contributors in industry, universities, or government positions. Current ARS employees are not eligible.

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