I did an interview with the online magazine Fatherly on teenage body odor this week.
What's real and what's myth?
Read about it here: "Why Preteens Smell Bad as Puberty Gets Started."
(Spoiler alert: “You might smell. What’s so bad about that?” )
20 Minute talk presenting the fruits and labor of my three year postdoctoral research as a Presidential Scholar at the Center for Science and Society, Columbia University.
Three open challenges discussed in this talk:
(1) What's so special about smell - regarding its perception and neural basis?
(2) Philosophy of Science as part of Scientific collaborations: Where does Philosophy fail, can/should we do something new... and is that still Philosophy?
(3) Buzzword aside: Is interdisciplinarity more than being fluent (and potentially mediocre) in two fields?
(Thanks belongs to Stuart Firestein & Lab, the PSSN program headed by Pamela Smith, and all the scientists who have lent me their time.)
In my new article in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (Open Access)
"How to be rational about empirical success in ongoing science: The case of the quantum nose and its critics" I ask a seemingly simple question:
Should philosophers think differently about the advancement of science when they deal with the uncertainty of outcome in ongoing research?
The answer is - emphatically! -yes! Moreover, such difference actually matters.
Because the answer to this question reflects our reasons for when we change our minds about an idea or scientific theory. (Like: When is a theory simply delayed in its success, or is something else maybe going on?) That our understanding (and the epistemology) of ongoing research has practical implications can be seen most vividly in our science narratives and science writing.
To demonstrate this, I look at an apparent controversy surrounding the sense of smell: The story of the quantum nose and its critics. Spoiler alert: “there never was a genuine scientific controversy in olfaction as painted in public and philosophical discourse.”
Sponsored by the Italian Academy and The Center for Science & Society, Columbia University
April 13, 2017
Thanks to all the speakers & participants, the Italian Academy & the Center for Science and Society at Columbia.
The Human Sense of Smell – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience
Columbia University in the City of New York
Date: April 13, 4:15 – 7:00 pm
Location: Teatro at the Italian Academy, Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY
4.15 – 4.30 General Introduction: David Freedberg & Pamela Smith (Columbia University)
4.30 – 4.35 Introduction of Panel & Topic: Ann-Sophie Barwich (Columbia University)
4.35 – 5.00 Barry Smith (School of Advanced Study, University of London, Philosophy)
5.00 – 5.15 Clare Batty (University of Kentucky, Philosophy)
5.15 – 5.40 Donald Wilson (NYU, Neuroscience)
5.40 – 5.55 Avery Gilbert (Smell Scientist and Author)
6.00 – 6.15 Christophe Laudamiel (DreamAir, Perfumer)
6.15 – 7.00 Panel Discussion
Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.
For more information, please visit: http://scienceandsociety.columbia.edu/cssevent/human-sense-smell-seminar-society-neuroscience/
There are many myths about the human sense of smell. Most persistent are the views that our olfactory abilities are underdeveloped, declining, and lacking cognitive significance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Historically, the spice trade and the ongoing hunt for new flavors have shaped our modern socio-economic landscape. Today, 28 billion dollars are generated annually with fragrance products in the US alone (ranging from perfumes to scented trash bags). Many of these are deeply entwined with hygiene products responsible for improvements in public health. And over the past thirty years, neuroscientific interest in odor perception has been on a steady rise. Central to this development is the dominant role of smell in cross-modal processes of flavor perception. The crucial question here remains unresolved, however: How does our brain make sense of scents and flavors? To explore the human sense of smell in its perceptual, neural, and cultural dimensions, the panel brings together cross-disciplinary perspectives from neuroscience, philosophy, and perfumery.