Two recent MIT graduates and 11 current students have won Fulbright Scholarships to study abroad for the 2009-‘10 academic year. This year’s tally of 13 Fulbright winners is MIT’s highest on record, eclipsing the nine MIT students who received the scholarships in 2003. Each year, more than 7,000 students apply for the program; about 1,500 are selected, on the basis of their achievement and potential.
Xaq Frohlich, a PhD student in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, will use his Fulbright to travel to Spain to continue his dissertation research. Frohlich is examining how differences in national standards for food safety and risk affect the globalization of the food market. As part of his research, he is analyzing food labeling laws and the nutrition science that influences labeling. He’s also looking at the impact of cultural concerns about preserving local agricultural and culinary traditions.
“The Spanish are very proud of their traditional cuisine,” says Frohlich. “We Americans, in contrast, often think of ourselves as not having a national cuisine but are proud of our innovation and food novelty. I’m interested in seeing how this shapes the way Spaniards versus Americans react to the new health arguments about certain foods being good or bad to eat.” As he studies the science behind the acclaimed Mediterranean diet, Frohlich looks forward to enjoying fresh produce overseas. “The freshness of food there makes eating in Spain a real pleasure,” he says.
For a full list of this year’s MIT Fulbright winners and synopses of their research, visit www.technologyreview.com/MITFulbright.