Monell Olfactometer (Medium)


Monell Chemical Senses Center

Determining Current Knowledge of the Chemical Senses

Philadelphia, USA (Sept-Oct 2012)


visiting scholar


It became very clear at an early stage that any proposal for the consideration of the chemical senses in art would need to be firmly grounded in contemporary scientific knowledge. More often that not, the classical  arguments that exclude the chemical senses from art (and surprisingly, sometimes the modern ones) became invalid owing to their dependence upon a notion of scientific understanding that was erroneous. As such, the starting place for my research, after determining the context of these senses in art, was to build a scientific platform for the consideration of these senses in art.



Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Cognition, Concepts and the Chemical Senses

Nijmegen, the Netherlands (March 2013)


visiting scholar


The critical challenge in the development of a theory for the suitability of the chemical senses in art is bridging the gap between our scientific knowledge of these senses and our understanding of how to communicate in art's language of symbols and complex concepts; simply put, can the chemical senses convey abstract concepts and, if so, how? To bridge this gap I sought knowledge from cognitive science, seeking to understand what a concept is and how the chemical senses function as a cognitive or non-cognitive process. 

An important outcome of this research was a structure within which case studies in gastronomy could be developed in order to investigate the communicative power of concepts by way of the chemical senses.



Givaudan Flavour and Fragrances

Investigating the Material of Flavour 

Naarden, the Netherlands (Dec 2013) &  Zurich, Switzerland (Jan 2014)


visiting scholar


Givaudan is the world's leading manufacturers of flavours and fragrances; beyond that, their research and development departments are pioneering in a frontier of knowledge that will shape the food that we eat in the future. By exploring and cataloging the flavours and fragrances of the world Givaudan are codifying a chemical realm that will become as important as musical notation and the manipulation of colour. 

My two visits to Givaudan opened a door into the world of flavour and fragrance creation, which in turn allowed me to exchange ideas with their scientists concerning the power of these senses to communicate in their own potent ways.