Ann-Sophie Barwich

Ann-Sophie Barwich is a philosopher and historian of science, with a specialization in biology and chemistry. Her research examines the current and past developments in olfactory research and the epistemic, empirical, and social factors that define ongoing science in laboratories studying olfaction. She is the author of Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard University Press, 2020). Ann received her PhD from the Center for the Study of Life Sciences (Egenis) at the University of Exeter before taking on a postdoctoral fellowship at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research. She is an assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she divides her time between the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine and the Cognitive Science Program.

Project Title

From the Air to the Brain: Laboratory Routines in Olfaction

Stuart Firestein
Professor of Biological Sciences

Christopher Peacocke
Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy

Barwich, A. S. (2020). Smellosophy: What the Nose tells the Mind. Harvard University Press.

Barwich, A. S. (2020). What Makes a Discovery Successful? The Story of Linda Buck and the Olfactory Receptors. Cell181(4), 749-753.

Barwich, A. S. (2019). The Value of Failure in Science: The Story of Grandmother Cells in Neuroscience. Frontiers in neuroscience13, 1121.

Barwich, A. S. (2019). A Critique of Olfactory Objects. Frontiers in Psychology10, 1337.

Barwich, A. S. (2018). How to be rational about empirical success in ongoing science: The case of the quantum nose and its critics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A69, 40-51.

Barwich, A. S. (2018). Measuring the World: Olfaction as a Process Model of Perception. Everything Flows: Towards a processual philosophy of biology.

Barwich, A. S. (2017). Is Captain Kirk a natural blonde?: Do X-ray crystallographers dream of electron clouds? Comparing model-based inferences in science with fiction. In Thinking about Science, Reflecting on Art (pp. 62-79). Routledge.

Barwich, A. S., & Bschir, K. (2017). The manipulability of what? The history of G-protein coupled receptors. Biology & Philosophy32(6), 1317-1339.

Barwich, A. S. (2017). Up the nose of the beholder? Aesthetic perception in olfaction as a decision-making process. New Ideas in Psychology47, 157-165.

Barwich, A. S. (2016). Making sense of smell. The Philosophers' Magazine, (73), 41-47.

Barwich, A. S. (2016). What is so special about smell? Olfaction as a model system in neurobiology. Postgraduate Medical Journal92(1083), 27-33.

Barwich, A. S., & Chang, H. (2015). Sensory measurements: coordination and standardization. Biological Theory10(3), 200-211.

Barwich, A. S. (2015). Bending molecules or bending the Rules? The application of theoretical models in fragrance chemistry. Perspectives on Science23(4), 443-465.

Barwich, A. S. (2014). A sense so rare: Measuring olfactory experiences and making a case for a process perspective on sensory perception. Biological Theory9(3), 258-268.

Podcast, 2018

Tell Me Something I Don't Know
Podcast, 2017

The Importance of Playing with a Child’s Sense of Smell
Interview, Fatherly, 2017

Computing Odor Images
Interview, Inside Science, 2017

Is Smell an Aesthetic Sense?
Blog, 2017

Making Sense of Scents: The Science of Smell
Blog, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 2017