Scents and Sensibilities: The Invisible Language of Smell
Saturday, June 4, 2011, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM at Tishman Auditorium, New School
What does fear smell like? Love? Can we use scent to control behavior? Do humans really sense pheromones? What if you could diagnose diseases just by smelling them? And exactly how does our brain convert floating organic molecules into chemical signals that our brain processes as odor? Over hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors learned to encode specific scents with information that saved their lives. Many species still depend heavily on smell for their daily survival. Described as “the most direct pathway to the brain,” olfaction is subconscious, pre-cognitive, and emotional. Join neuroscientists, chemists, artists, and radical scent designers for a “scent interactive” discussion about the fascinating science of smell and how it offers a powerful window into our brains, behaviors, emotions, and communication.
Participants in Scents and Sensibilities are:
Leslie B. Vosshall is a renowned neuroscientist seeking to understand how behaviors emerge from the integration of sensory input with internal physiological states.
As a professional "in-betweener," Sissel Tolaas’s work focuses on smell, language, and communication while spanning science, art, and industry. She has identified the smell molecules in worn coats and covered the walls of an MIT gallery with chemically reproduced molecules from the sweat of men who suffer fear attacks. Tolaas’s projects combine aspects of the academic, the offensive, and the surreal.
Consuelo De Moraes is an internationally known biologist and ecologist who studies the complex role of chemistry in interactions among plants and other organisms. She is particularly interested in understanding how olfactory cues emitted by plants convey sophisticated information about plant identity and condition.
Smell scientist, entrepreneur, and author Avery N. Gilbert is a fragrance industry innovator and pioneer in the areas of olfactory mental imagery, multisensory correlates of odor perception, and the psychological factors that bias odor judgments.
Youth & Family Street Fair
Sunday, June 5, 2011, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM at Washington Square Park
The Washington Square Park area will be transformed into a science wonderland when the World Science Festival Youth and Family Street Fair returns to New York City on Sunday, June 5, 2011. This year’s extravaganza will feature a non-stop program of interactive exhibits, experiments, games, and shows designed to entertain and inspire. Join us for a full day of free family fun!
One of the events of the Youth & Family Street Fair is "The Smell Lab: Test your smell IQ; The CSI Experience", which is sponsored by IFF.
You can find out about the World Science Fair here. More info about the Scents and Sensibility event is here, where you can also buy tickets. Youth & Family Street Fair information is here, and is free to attend.