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AIAS Symposium: Percieving after Concieving

Perceiving after Conceiving: What internal body perceptions and sensations mean for pregnancy and post-partum nutrition and health for parents and for the next generation

29-30 May 2024

This symposium will bring together three groups of researchers and experts: one group focused on the social determinants of health in the earliest stages of the human life course (i.e., just before conception, through pregnancy, and through infancy), one focused on human food and nutrition, and the third focused on measuring and visualizing internal and chemosensory perceptions of bodily functions and experiences. There’s good reason to intuit that pregnancy and lactation alter these kinds of sensations and perceptions and that such sensations and perceptions alter pregnancy and peri-natal nutrition and health, but we don’t yet know whether or to what extent that’s actually the case. So, please bring your perspectives and expertise on one of these areas of inquiry and let’s move the conversation forward on how and why to test this intuition!

The event will feature keynote as well as lightning talks and trainee posters from each of these respective areas of research; multiple, in-depth panel and plenary discussions; some multi-sensory and potentially perception-bending workshops; and 2.5 hours of brainstorming and collective writing for any participants interested in writing a collective piece about the potential for developing the field of perception transformation during pregnancy and its implications for nutrition/ food sciences and health.

To guarantee yourself a spot, please register now and pay the nominal fee of 125 DKK for faculty or professionals, 100 DKK for postdocs and PhD students, 75 DKK for bachelor or master’s students (which will help to cover the costs of food, drink and administrative assistance). We look forward to seeing you!


09.00 - 09.30 Welcome and opening remarks w. coffee, buns and fruit
09.30 - 10.00 Embodiment workshop 1: Shared poetry analysis
Lead by Bridget Vincent (Australian National University)
10.00 - 11.00 Keynote: 'Interoception and the chemical senses'
by Franscesca Fardo (Aarhus University)
11.00 - 11.10 Bio break
11.10 - 12.15 Five lightening talks on Interoception and the clinical senses, followed by panel discussion
12.15 - 13.15 Lunch and video installation ‘Embodiment and Motherhood’ by Julienne Doko
13.15 - 14.00 Sensory walk: How do we experience and perceive our worlds through our ears, nose, skin, taste buds and inner monitoring?
14.00 - 14.15 Coffee and fruit over posters
14.15 - 15.15 Keynote: ‘Interoception and the chemical senses and pregnancy/peri-partum health’, speaker TBA
15.15 - 15.50 Three lightening talks on peri-natal and post-partum periods, followed by panel discussion
15.50 - 16.10 Open discussion
16.10 - 16.45 Poster session, video installation and networking over soft drinks
18.30 - 22.00 Dinner at a restaurant downtown - venue TBA (covered by the registration fee)
09.40 - 09.55 Coffee and arrival
09.55 - 10.00 Welcome by Luseadra McKerracher
10.00 - 11.00 Keynote: ‘Pregnancy/Post-partum Health’ by Helle Terkildsen Maindal (Aarhus University)
11.00 - 11.25 Two lightening talks on pregnancy, followed by panel discussion
11.25 - 11.30 Bio break
11.30 - 12.30 Five lightening talks on nutrition and food science, followed by panel discussion
12.30 - 13.15 Lunch
13.15 - 14.15 Keynote: ‘Nutrition and food sciences, infant body composition and development’ by Raymond Thomas (University of Western Ontario) via Zoom
14.15 - 14.45 Open discussion and conclusion of academic/scientific program
14.45 - 15.15 Embodiment workshop 2: Research dissemination and knowledge translation using multi-sensory means
Lead by Alan O’Leary (Aarhus University)
15.15 - 16.30 Group writing session
30 minutes brainstorming questions, aims, priorities for a collective writing initiative in small groups, followed by 30 minutes sharing in plenary
16.30 - 16.45 Last chance to visit video installation and posters
18.00 -  Self-paid, self-organized dinner
The organizing committee will use a buddy system to ensure that all postdoc and PhD students are invited to eat with one or more mid- or later- career researchers or experts


The event is open to all interested. Registration closes on 24 May 2024.

Please sign up via the button above or here


The conference is funded by:

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University