Those "Happiness" lectures downtown have run their course, but the University of Arizona's Science Cafe series continues.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., Regents' Professor Leslie Tolbert will speak on "The Science of Smell — an Acquired Taste" at Magpie's Pizza, 605 N. 4th Ave.
Most people know that most of what we sense as taste is actually smell. That's why they tell you to hold your nose and take your medicine. Tolbert will demonstrate that by having you hold your nose while you try to discern the flavor of jelly beans.
She'll also tall the tale of the famous wine-taster, who remembers every one of the tens of thousands of wines he's sampled.
Smell is "an acquired taste," said Tolbert, a professor of neurosciences. You need sensory input over your lifetime to develop it and scientists are still unsure whether you can improve it by training.
The science cafes, sponsored by the UA College of Science, are part lecture but mostly conversation, so come with any questions you have about smell and taste and Tolbert will answer them, using the latest scientific studies on the subject.
Admission is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
Additional information on this and upcoming cafes at different venues is available at the UA Science website.