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Qualitative-sensoric ‚citizen science‘ on the practice and aesthetics of eating

To the project website

When it comes to sustainable nutrition, ecological balances are more often discussed than taste and appetite. The challenge seems to be in controlling sensual desire through rationality and rules. Does it have to be that way? Aren’t there ways to experiment with the pleasures of eating? Tasting is a highly complex issue depending on specific situations in which we eat, our expectations and habits. To explore what actuallly happens in terms of sensorial experiences while we eat, two disciplines, sociology of politics and nutritional education, work together with 20 citizen scientists. The Schmeck!-project investigates how eating is practiced and experienced in different situations. How do people taste? How could that change?

In sensory ethnographic observations we focus on subjective taste experiences and their communication. This is a basis for developing and testing experimental approaches to explore how habitualized ways of eating and tasting can change. We here explore standardized scientific as well as artistic approaches. The aim is to explore possibilities for creatively configuring eating situations and taste experiences. Ultimately, this could help overcome ‘aesthetic path dependencies’ in the development of food systems. In addition to scientific articles, presentations, a symposium and so on, we produce a ‚somewhat different‘cook book. A more fundamental question in the background is, which role sensual perception and aesthetics have for sustainable development and how this might be reflected in governance approaches.


  • Neue Publikation: Voß, Jan-Peter and Michael Guggenheim, 2019. "Making Taste Public: Industrialized Orders of Sensing and the Democratic Potential of Experimental Eating", Politics and Governance 7, 4, 224-236. Link.

The project team

Prof. Dr. Jan-Peter Voß (Principal Investigator)
Prof. Dr. Nina Langen
(Principal Investigator)
Dr. Daniel Kofahl
(Research Associate)
Nora Rigamonti (Research Associate)


Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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