Delicious science

Mix a liter of physics and a cup of chemistry, add a handful of biology and a pinch of mathematics, stir and serve! We cook and eat on a daily basis without questioning the underlying science too much. Yet, could there be any tastier way to experiment, discover, question and learn?

The aim of this session is to share experiences of and ideas about 'kitchen science´ related activities within science centres and museums. What are the concepts? What to consider? Which topics to address? How do visitors react? What tips for newcomers wanting to establish cooking-related activities? Finally, experts will share their favourite scientific culinary secret… tasting included.

Convenor

Guillaume Trap
Scientific Director
Differdange
Luxembourg

Session speakers

President and Director
Boston
United States
Imagining the Future of Food: Inspiration from the World's greatest chefs, technologists, and explorers. // The Museum of Science, Boston, USA has found that Food is a central part of the human experience and as such is an exciting entry point for visitors to engage with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We have brought in amazing exhibits that look at Food in new ways including Ferran Adria's El Bulli restaurant, Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine, and AMNH's Global Kitchen. Our next project aims to challenge visitors to imagine the future of food by envisioning food grown and cooked in Space and other worlds. Imagining food in new ways allows visitors to broaden their perspective about their personal choices and the challenges in today's food systems.
Director
Tartu
Estonia
Kitchen Science? AHHAA! // At AHHAA we offer workshops in `Kitchen Science` on daily basis. During our activities participants can do something truly great for themselves and in the meanwhile learn something new! We analyse caffeine crystals, produce chocolate ourselves and use cabbage as a pH indicator – to finally offer our visitors self-made soda. We consider ´Kitchen Science´ related activities to be fantastic subject to engage visitors of all age groups. We have collected 6+ years of experience and would like to share it. Are we doing a great job or buying cheap popularity by playing visitors' basic needs - let's find out!
Nicolas Godinot
Head of content
Vevey
Switzerland
Crunchy and Chewy: How Food Reconciles Hard and Soft Sciences. // At the Alimentarium, we have been taking our visitors on a cultural, historical and scientific journey about food and nutrition for over 30 years. Practical experimentation is inseparable from the theme of food, so it is deeply embedded in our Museum’s DNA. Our aim for this session is to share our approach that combines the expertise on food of both social and natural sciences in a way that serves the two following purposes – the use of food as a vector of scientific knowledge and the use of scientific knowledge to explain what food is. We will present a few examples, such as ways to extract natural colourings, how emulsions reconcile opposites, and how to make sorbet without a freezer by simply mixing ice and salt, a common method in the 18th century.
Science mediator
Differdange
Luxembourg
Everybody is hungry for science! // Crystalline structures, Amadori rearrangements, pyrolysis, … - sounds boring, right? How about the world´s smoothest ice-cream, shiny chocolate and golden-brown cookies? Since the official opening of the Luxembourg Science Center in October 2017, some delicious scent lures visitors into the KitchenLab where, eventually, we serve them… science. On daily basis we feed bits of chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology, alongside with a tasty bite. In this session we would like to present you our concept and share with you the experiences we made during the conception and realization of the KitchenLab. As newcomers in the field we seek to learn, exchange concepts and get inspired with fresh ideas.