Training Taste

Wednesday 6 April 2022 | 4:00pm UK Time | Online via Zoom

This session addresses the notion that taste can be trained – both in the sense that individuals can learn to like things they did not previously enjoy, and in the sense that they can enhance their capacity for sensory experience. Sometimes, these two senses are intertwined, when people learn to discriminate more finely between sensory experiences, and in so doing learn to identify new forms of pleasure.


Dr John Gallagher is Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leeds. A specialist in cultural and social histories of early modern Britain and Europe, with a particular interest in language, migration, and education, John's research stretches from the sixteenth to the early eighteenth century and covers topics ranging from the history of Italian grammar to the Grand Tour, and from perfumed gloves to Mediterranean piracy.

He is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and, among many BBC collaborations, features in the Radio 3 Sunday Feature, The History of the Tongue.

Dr Patrick Ruch is Research Staff Member at IBM Research-Zurich and Technical Assistant to the Vice President of Europe and Africa and Director of IBM Research-Zurich. His research interests lie in AI-assisted combinatorial chemical sensing for applications in quality and process control and product innovation.

Patrick is the Principal Investigator of HyperTaste, a research effort to demonstrate an end-to-end implementation for AI-assisted rapid testing of complex liquids. At IBM, he has led research projects on energy-efficient computing systems and sustainable energy technologies.

Attendance is free but spaces may be limited, so please email to reserve a space in the Zoom audience. Please be aware that we will take a recording of this event, which may include any questions and responses delivered by the audience. You are welcome to submit questions via the chat box at any time.