The Monell Chemical Senses Center, located in Philadelphia, is home to more than forty research scientists with PhDs in psychology, biology, chemistry and nutrition, as well as in the various subdisciplines and hybrid disciplines formed from them. This diversity of scientific viewpoints finds itself unified by one overall mission of research. This mission is symbolized at the entrance to our institute by a larger than life, gilded statue of a nose and mouth. Here, in dramatic pictorial terms, is our aim: the scientific study of the senses of smell and taste.
Founded nearly twenty years ago, the Monell Center is now the largest research establishment of its kind. Its growth has occurred amid increasing awareness among scientists and public alike that the sense of smell and the role of odors in our social and physical environment have a major impact on the quality of human life. Perhaps the heroic proportions of the Monell nose are, after all, appropriately scaled to this renewed emphasis on olfactory science and esthetics.
Our collaboration with the National Geographic Society on the Smell Survey is particularly gratifying. As scientists, it is part of our responsibility to inform the public. And as researchers, it is our hope to tap ever greater sources of information about human physiology and behavior. I believe these two goals are beautifully intertwined in this project.