g-Astronomy is an ongoing, cross-disciplinary research project that aims at creating an immersive, multi-sensorial experience to engage the public with some of the most fascinating questions of modern astrophysics and cosmology: the nature of dark matter, the properties of black holes, and the origin of the Universe.
Astrophysicist and science communicator Dr Roberto Trotta has joined efforts with experimental gastronomy chef Jozef Youssef and his team at Kitchen Theory to develop an interactive culinary experience that translates these questions into dishes designed to embody in a metaphorical (but scientifically accurate) way some of the core physical characteristics of dark matter, black holes, and the Big Bang.
With this collaboration, Roberto and Jozef aim to short-circuit the perception of astrophysics and cosmology being “brainy” subjects that can often be seen as daunting by members of the public and young adults. Instead, they use food and the sensorial experience it entails as a tool to engage a wider public. g-Astronomy thus translates complex ideas into a relatable and interactive (and not to mention delicious) medium: food.
Roberto presented the g-Astronomy concept and the research process they have devised for this award-winning collaboration. He shared their experience in presenting g-Astronomy at the Cheltenham Science Festival 2016, and at an event for people with sight loss (in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People) in March 2017. The audience was left with the question whether and how food and taste can become a new, creative medium to engage with astronomy and cosmology in a multi-sensorial way that is not limited to vision and its aesthetic references.
If you are curious of what the universe tastes like, follow Roberto on Twitter and check out some images from previous g-Astronomy events below (alt-text transcriptions available).