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William K. Hallman is a professor and Chair of the Department of Human Ecology and is a member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is a 1983 graduate of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and earned his PhD. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1989. Dr. Hallman’s research examines public perceptions of controversial issues concerning food, health, and the environment. Recent research projects have looked at consumer perceptions and behaviors concerning genetically modified foods, animal cloning, avian influenza, accidental and intentional food contamination incidents, and food recalls. His current research projects include studies of public perceptions and responses to food safety risks, the safety of fresh meat, poultry, game, and seafood products purchased on the Internet, the use of nanotechnology in food, and public understanding of health claims made for food products. Dr. Hallman serves on the Executive Committee of Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH), and helped to found the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, which offers food insecure residents access to fresh, locally grown, affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate produce and other food products. Dr. Hallman formerly served as the Director of the Food Policy Institute (FPI) at Rutgers, and currently serves as the Chair of the Risk Communication Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As an experimental psychologist, William Hallman’s work focuses on public perceptions of risk, and on improving risk, health, environmental, and science communication, especially with respect to controversial issues concerning food, technology, health, and the environment.
In particular, he has conducted research on food safety, food recalls, genetically modified foods, nanotechnology in food and agriculture, animal cloning, qualified health claims for food products, and the safety of perishable proteins purchased on the internet. In addition, he has conducted research on personal precaution-taking against Lyme disease and Zika virus; perceived exposures and unexplained symptoms experienced by veterans of the Gulf War; post-traumatic stress among firefighters responding to 9/11; perceptions of the threat of agricultural bioterrorism; public reactions to the potential for outbreaks of avian influenza; the uptake of influenza vaccinations; public reactions to coastal storm warnings; public perceptions of the contamination of soil, oil, and air; and other issues.
As the former director of the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers, he has conducted research on food insecurity among homebound elderly recipients of home-delivered meals (in collaboration with Meals on Wheels America); conducted an evaluation of the New Jersey Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (NJ-WIC); and, in 2009, was a founder of the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market. He also co-founded Rutgers Against Hunger in 2008, a program focused on hunger and food-insecurity issues within the New Jersey.
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