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That Stinks

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • British Sign Language
  • Speech-to-text
A photo of William Tullett holding a small bottle of liquid and smelling yellow translucent liquid.
William Tullett. © Sofia Erich and Odeuropa.

What you’ll do

Join Professor William Tullett, author of ‘Smell in Eighteenth-Century England’, with host Danny Rees in a discussion exploring the sensory history of the 19th century, around the time of the ‘Great Stink’. Tullett will consider the historical importance of the sense of smell and the public-health impacts of the air around us. Then, with guidance from smell scientist Cecilia Bembibre Jacobo, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a range of intriguing aromas from the past.

You’ll be able to ask questions and share your thoughts after the discussion.



Need to know


We’ll be in the Viewing Room. It’s next to the Library entrance on level 2, which you can reach by taking the lift or the stairs.

Limited spaces available

Spaces are limited and may run out if we are busy so you may wish to arrive early.

British Sign Language

This event will have British Sign Language interpretation.


This event will be live-transcribed, which may be useful for people who are D/deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or neurodivergent. The captions will be displayed on a large screen in-venue. Ticketholders for the livestream will receive a link to view the captions in a separate window.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your contributors

A photo of William Tullett holding a small bottle of liquid and smelling yellow translucent liquid.

William Tullett


William Tullett is an Associate Professor of Sensory History at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. When not being sat on by his two cats, he spends his time following his nose through the archives of the past and the environments of the present. He is currently part of the major EU-Horizon 2020 funded project ‘Odeuropa’, examining the history and heritage of smells in Europe from the 1600s to the 1920s using methods ranging from computer science to chemistry. He has also worked on the senses in a range of other projects, including recent research on the Covid-19 pandemic and our senses.

Danny Rees


Danny is the Library Engagement Officer at Wellcome Collection. He has published articles on facial expressions and physiognomy, appeared on radio and television and been a guest lecturer at the National Portrait Gallery on the subject of beauty.

Professor Cecilia Bembibre Jacobo


Professor Cecilia Jacobo combines a doctoral degree in heritage science with 15-plus years of experience in media and publishing to explore new ways of presenting historic objects and spaces, using technology to creatively incorporate multisensory components in exhibitions and develop fresh narratives that resonate with visitors. Her research on olfactory heritage has captured the public’s imagination and has been featured in over 300 media outlets worldwide, including interviews on BBC News and Breakfast, the Guardian, The Times, Channel 5, Newsweek and CNN. Cecilia is passionate about leading outstanding public engagement, inclusive and educational events, including workshops, presentations and talks.