Plenary Speakers

Tom Carr, Carr Consulting, USA


Tom Carr has over thirty years’ experience in applying statistical techniques to all phases of research on consumer products and ingredients. His areas of expertise include the design and analysis of sensory and consumer studies and design of experiments for formula and process optimization. Prior to founding Carr Consulting in 1995, Tom held a variety of business and technical positions at Best Foods and The NutraSweet Company. Tom is Adjunct Professor in Quantitative Sensory Evaluation at Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia and is actively involved in the continuing education of researchers and scientists, both in the United States and internationally. Tom is co-author of Sensory Evaluation Techniques, 5rd Ed. and Sensory Evaluation in Quality Control and is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Sensory Studies.  He is actively involved in the standardization of sensory methods through ASTM International Committee E-18 and ISO TC 34/SC 12. Tom has a Master of Science degree in Statistics from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from University of Dayton.

Talk: A Trip Through Sensory Science -- From Methods to Measures to Models

Sensory Science has come a long way. With over 40 years in Sensory, Tom Carr has observed, first-hand many of the significant developments in the field. In his talk, Tom will share his recollections and perspectives on the changes that have taken place in the discipline during his career and where he sees the science going in the future. Tom’s talk takes up the journey in the late 1970s when sensory science was focused, in large part, on the rigorous execution of a collection of test methods. Over time, as technologies and the demands of stakeholders evolved, the emphasis in the field shifted from exacting test execution to a period of quantification, where more and more analytical results were being extracted from sensory tests. Then, most recently, the emphasis has shifted again to using sensory tests to establish foundational understandings of products and people, with these understandings embodied in models obtained either from traditional statistical methods, psychometrics, or data scientific methods. Although, as Niels Bohr supposedly said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future”, Tom will close his talk with his speculations on where he sees Sensory Science going in the years to come.

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