Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D., President of Phi Tau Sigma

President’s Message

I am excited to begin my term as your President for the Administrative Year 2017-18. The upcoming year promises both challenges and rewards in terms of how we move Phi Tau Sigma forward. The Phi Tau Sigma leadership has over the past few years made numerous needed internal changes, including updating the by-laws and putting us on a firm financial footing. These efforts will serve as a foundation to help the organization to better meet and address issues confronting the food science profession. With this foundation, it is now time to turn our attention outward and put more energy into promoting Phi Tau Sigma.

It is my belief that Phi Tau Sigma must increase its visibility if it is to thrive and grow in the future. That, of course, is easier to say than it is to do. The bigger question is, how is this accomplished? There are a number of facets to consider.

First, to whom should we be more visible? At the very least, the food science community, particularly Institute of Food Technologists and related organizations, should have the most detailed knowledge of Phi Tau Sigma and its mission.

The second audience with whom we need to increase our visibility is the overall scientific community. Food science is by its very nature a multidisciplinary field. The core sciences of microbiology, chemistry, engineering, nutrition and others should all be aware that what they do, can impact the food supply and public health.

Traditional mass media and social media can have, and has had, a profound impact on the field of food science. Phi Tau Sigma can and should be recognized by both the media and their followers as a true authority and source of scientific information and knowledge about foods.

And finally, Phi Tau Sigma cannot forget about policy makers. These individuals need a resource to provide them with accurate, science-based information on all things food. Given the breadth of expertise and experience of Phi Tau Sigma members, there is no reason why Phi Tau Sigma cannot be that resource.

So again, I come back to the more difficult question. HOW do we actually go about accomplishing the task of increasing our visibility? While I don’t think there is one single answer to this question, I do believe it starts with setting a goal, and then holding ourselves accountable for meeting that goal. I look forward to your input, your comments, and your criticisms. That’s how we get better.

Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank my immediate predecessors, Russell Cross and Janet Collins, for their efforts to put Phi Tau Sigma on a financially and intellectually stable track. Their hard work and dedication will make it that much easier for future leaders of Phi Tau Sigma.