Always follow your nose – How scents determine our lives


Smells influence our lives more than we think, they awaken memories, feelings and associations. Whether we find a scent pleasant depends on our upbringing and personal experiences. The very first time we smell a scent, the emotions associated with it are stored - and recalled again and again when we perceive it later. Many disciplines are currently dealing with the effect of scents, such as medicine, psychology and marketing. Although many questions are still unanswered, scientists have meanwhile researched what happens biochemically during habituation to a scent and how scents take shape via olfactory sensory cells.

A few years ago, however, they discovered even more: not only does the human nose have olfactory receptors, but they are found almost everywhere in the body, for example in the skin, in the heart, in tumour cells, in sperm or in vaginal secretions. Hanns Hatt is one of the most renowned scientists in the field of scent research. In his lecture, he will explain the physiological basis of smelling and report on current research results. He will discuss the commercial use of scents and explain how smells can change the way we feel and even cure diseases.

Prof. Dr. Hanns Hatt studied biology, chemistry and medicine in Munich. He is a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina and the New York Academy of Sciences. In 1992, he was appointed to the Chair of Cell Physiology at the University of Bochum. He has received many awards, including the Communicator Prize of the German Research Foundation.

Dialog in the Museum
November 24, 2022
7.00 p.m.

Prof. Dr. Hanns Hatt
University of Bochum