On the fast lane: Hart Nadav Feuer

“ZEF has truly set me up for an interdisciplinary research career and expanded my networks”

Fact sheet

Q&A with Hart

How has the topic of your doctoral research evolved in your opinion?

Since I began as a researcher at the cross-section of agriculture and culinary studies, the field of “Food Studies” has blossomed worldwide. While I may not agree with every contour in this new field, it has helped shape a more complex and politically-sensitive discussion about the interplay of food culture and agriculture. This field has made it much easier to conduct trans-disciplinary work with practitioners, such as chefs, entrepreneurs, wild plant foragers, and indigenous people. I hope that more regions of the world (beyond North America and some pockets elsewhere) embrace this new field.

From which aspects of your doctoral training at ZEF did you benefit most during your career?

Without a doubt, ZEF has truly set me up for an interdisciplinary research career and expanded my networks to colleagues and friends worldwide, and especially in the Global South. Starting out as an inter-disciplinary researcher is not an easy task, as academic institutions are still not built to support such work, even with complex global problems. However, with creativity, persistence, and supportive networks, one can carve out a very powerful research life thanks to the tools at ZEF. While there should be more done to cross boundaries at ZEF, it remains one of the better integrated institutions worldwide and a great resource for future leaders.

What are you most proud of in terms of what you have achieved so far career-wise?

Remaining true to my ethos of helping and supporting progressive ideas with scientific rationality and the legitimacy of research. It is easy to be turned inward and try to develop one’s career only, or be side-tracked by personal issues, but I have enough role models – counting here many ZEF friends and colleagues – who keep me inspired to remain rooted to our core goal of development.

Photos by courtesy of Hart Nadav Feuer

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