Relationships between Academia, State and Industry in the Field of Food and Nutrition: The Norwegian Chemist Sigval Schmidt-Nielsen (1877-1956) and His Professional Roles, 1900-1950
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCentaurus. 2016, 58 (4), 257-280. 10.1111/1600-0498.12138
The aim of this article is to shed light on the relationships between science, state and industry in the field of food and nutrition in Norway in the first half of the 20th century with reference to the scientist Sigval Schmidt-Nielsen (1877–1956). Schmidt-Nielsen was a health authority employed state chemist at the university in the Norwegian capital and later professor of technical organic chemistry at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim. We explore his roles, his research and his consultancy for state and industry at the university and at the institute. The early 1900s were important for the shaping of food and nutrition science as well as the growth of the food industry. During this period, food control and food regulations were implemented. Norway, the context in which Schmidt-Nielsen worked had only become an independent nation in 1905, and the state administration, as well as the university and institute were young institutions. We argue that this specific situation paved the way for the roles Schmidt-Nielsen played in academia, state and industry. By combining a biographical approach and a multi-institutional perspective, new relations between different fields within food and nutrition became visible.