Claude Fischler

Claude Fischler is a Directeur de recherche at CNRS, the national research agency of France, and heads IIAC (Institut Interdisciplinaire d’Anthropologie du Contemporain, Interdisciplinary Institute for Contemporary Anthropology), a research and graduate studies unit of Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris with a staff of over 300 (including 145 doctoral students). The Edgar Morin Center, which he has headed since 2002, is now a part of IIAC.
His own main area of research has been a comparative, social science perspective on food and nutrition, their role and determinants in societies and cultures. His work covers the structure and function of cuisines, taste and preferences, body image and their evolution and change over time and space. Subsequently, he came to focus on perception of risk, “scares” and crises, on comparative approaches of attitudes toward food and health across cultures (in relation to, among other things, prevalence of obesity), on the reception and perception of sensitive technologies (including novel foods) and more recently on assessment and measurement of well-being and quality of life in a comparative perspective. His main current research is on commensality - eating together - its forms and functions, its role in culture and society, its politics as well as its possible impact on public health. The anthropology of commensality ties into the general issue of sharing food, at the local and global levels.
He has published numerous articles and chapters on these issues, as well as several books, including L’Homnivore (1990-1993-2001-2010), Du Vin (1999), Manger (with E. Masson) and, in June of 2013, Les Alimentations Particulières (proceedings of a conference held at Institut Pasteur in Paris in January, 2012). The book covers the issue of individual dietary requirements both from a social science perspective and a biomedical viewpoint. Allergies, for instance, are addressed from the immunological, epidemiological and sociological points of view.
Fischler served on the Scientific Committee and the Expert Committee on Human Nutrition of AFSSA, the French Agency for Food Safety and on its board of directors. He has been a member of the steering committee of the French National Program on Nutrition and Health, served on the Advisory Group on Risk Communication of the European Food Safety Authority,  the Strategic Committee on Sustainable Agriculture and Development advising the French Minister of Food and Agriculture, and on the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association.