PacSci Perspectives

New Exhibit on Memory on Display

by | Sep 7, 2017

Memory: Fragrant Flashbacks Opens September 16

SEATTLE, WA (September 7, 2017) – The final installment of Pacific Science Center’s four-part exhibit series on the science of memory opens September 16. Memory: Fragrant Flashbacks explores how we acquire, consolidate, and retrieve our memories, and why those associated with smell are different.

The relationship between smell and memory is highly autobiographical. For some a whiff of smoke elicits memories of a house fire, but for others it brings up fond memories of camping. Smell stations will challenge guests to recognize different odors and consider their emotional response to them. At the Smell Synthesizer, 19 basic odors are tested and then put together to create more than 500,000 unique scents to stir up memories. Local scientists are featured, including one who conducted important research related to how our brains detect and process smells, while another solved the mystery of how some people lost their sense of smell.

Memory: Fragrant Flashbacks opens September 16, 2017 and runs through March 2018 in Portal to Current Research. Portal to Current Research is a changing exhibit gallery showcasing the work of local scientists through a combination of digital media, graphics, objects, interactive displays and live programs. Exhibits change twice a year. The memory exhibit series is generously funded by a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

Contact: Delaney Berreth
PR & Marketing Coordinator 
(206) 443-3659;

Pacific Science Center is an independent, not-for-profit institution in Seattle. The institution’s mission is to ignite curiosity in every child and fuels a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us. Pacific Science Center’s award-winning, interactive programs reach more than 1.1 million people each year – in their communities, classrooms, and on the Pacific Science Center campus and at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center. Pacific Science Center began as the United States Science Pavilion during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Millions came to explore the wonders of science during the World’s Fair and upon closing ceremonies, the Science Pavilion was given new life as the private not-for-profit Pacific Science Center, becoming the first U.S. museum founded as a science and technology center. On July 22, 2010 Pacific Science Center was declared a City of Seattle Landmark.