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This paper presents a case for devoting increased attention to the refinement and general application of sensory evaluation in science and technology. Today, probably because of immense recent achievements in instrumentation and automation, the scientific and technical community generally looks toward instrumentation to provide measures of objects and events. This inclination may be generally appropriate, but we caution: (1) that it may inhibit seeking significant achievable refinements in current sensory evaluation methods that may have to fill long gaps between now and the time effective instruments are developed; and (2) that it may lead to acceptance of instruments with effectiveness that falls far short of what could be attained with refined sensory evaluation techniques.
senses, perception, technological intelligence, astronomy, medicine
senior scientist, Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.