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UK Government Chemist reveals link to Captain Scott’s 1901 Discovery expedition to the Antarctic

17 Nov 2011

Dr Derek Craston, the UK Government Chemist, will on Monday 21 November reveal during a public lecture at The Royal Society of Chemistry’s headquarters at Burlington House, London, how Captain Scott’s preparations for his 1901 Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic included a personal request to the Government Chemist to analyse his planned food supplies. Tellingly, the research exposed a nutritional deficit in one of the key foodstuffs Scott had intended to take with him.

The UK Government Chemist has supported measurement science since 1842 when it began analysing tobacco on behalf of the Board of Excise. The food safety challenges dealt with today are very different from those scientists faced in the 19th century. The statutory function of the Laboratory of the Government Chemist function continues to be hosted by LGC, an international science-based company and the UK’s designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement.

Dr Craston will also talk about recent cases where sound measurement has been applied to resolve food incidents and ultimately protect the public. Looking to the future, Dr Craston will discuss emerging food risks and the science that will be required to meet the challenges ahead.

On display will be a table of festive food, offering guests an opportunity to find out how measurement science can help to keep food safe this Christmas.

This event will be a unique opportunity to hear from the Government Chemist and to meet some of the scientists who support him in this role.

The event will also be broadcast live on The Reaction website (http://www.thereaction.net/events/y2011/safer_world.aspx).