When I planned to talk to delegates attending a meeting on methods of analysis I wasn’t expecting to hear about empathy and inclusion.
As chemists and other laboratory-bred participants came together to discuss methods of analysis and sampling in the field of food safety, I was ready for a deep dive series of technical sessions on whether (for example) one test for measuring moisture was equivalent to another.
I was attending the session of the Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling hosted by the Hungarian government in Budapest, to capture memories from delegates as the cornerstone of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, called the Codex Alimentarius Commission, continues to celebrate its 60th anniversary.
I was curious about milestones in the committee and how science had evolved since the group held its first meeting in 1965.
What I discovered beyond the science was a sensitivity to consensus building and an awareness that one country’s needs might not match another’s – and one way to resolve that is simply to talk about it.
Anyway don’t take my word for it, watch the two videos below and never prejudge a chemist again.