Did you know that approximately 30% of people over 65 years of age do not use the Internet? However, we are witnessing a growing interest in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) by this group. The project “OdourCollect and older people: digitizing and co-creating our olfactory memory” will encourage the participation of older people in citizen science and ICT projects, through art and smell.

At Science For Change and OdourCollect, the citizen science application to monitor odour, we are committed to empowering older people in the use of ICT and their participation in science. In collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), we have set ourselves an exciting challenge: to encourage the participation of this group in citizen science projects through their sense of smell, their memory and their creativity.

With the project “OdourCollect and older people: digitizing and co-creating our olfactory memory”, we will carry out three pilot projects where participating people will share their olfactory memories using ICT and we will give visibility to their olfactory memories through art, while participating in a citizen science project.

At SFC, we embrace the conviction of making science as inclusive as possible. Working with groups of older people and understanding the challenges they face is fundamental to this mission.

Agostina Bianchi

Project manager and health specialist at SFC.

Each pilot will consist of three workshops that will use various dynamics and methodologies specific to SFC. In the first workshop, sensitive walks of the neighbourhood’s smells will be carried out using the OdourCollect app while discussing the concept of citizen science and the best way to include older people. In the second workshop, the relationship between memory and smell will be discussed through art, and the benefits of using olfactory memory and odour recognition to detect cognitive deficits related to ageing will be promoted. And in the third workshop, exhibition objects will be designed to narrate personal experiences of the participants from olfactory memory.

At the end of all these workshops and as a result of them, the artistic objects created by the participants will be part of an exhibition that will remain in the place where the pilots were carried out so that the public can enjoy the result and also participate in this experience.


The collaborative exhibitions designed during the 3 pilots will be digitized to unify them and create a single virtual exhibition, in order to share the three exhibitions together.

As a result of the learning from the 3 pilots and with an informative objective, a manual of good practices will be written for the inclusion of older people in citizen science projects.

Thanks to this project, spaces for dialogue will be generated to reflect on the impact of odours on our well-being, the participation of older people in citizen science projects will be encouraged, generating co-creation spaces to identify challenges and solutions to involve them in this type of projects.

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