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sight only counts for one vote of five.”Chartrand said initially, the Speed-dating for the Senses project and Scientists for Love started off as a bit of a joke — neither of the business partners are trained scientists, with Chartrand’s background in English literature and partner Leigh Kotsilidis working as a managing editor of a literary magazine — but after brainstorming over a beer, their plans took off.
The team has pulled off four speed-dating events in Montreal.
Finally, participants are led back into a room and are instructed to stand two feet apart from one another as they get the first glimpse of their prospective partner.
They’re told to gaze into each others’ eyes for a full 15 seconds. It’s kind of beautiful,” said Chartrand, acknowledging the experience can also be “really awkward and strange” for the first few seconds.
Finally, the experiments are over and the participants are dismissed — sent off to a bar for one hour to await the results of their speed-dating marathon, soon to be unveiled in chart form.
For some participants, the sensory experiment results matter a great deal, said Chartrand, but for others, they’re more concerned with meeting the other participants afterwards and seeing if real-world sparks fly.
Called “part speed-dating, part performance art, part science” by its creators, the event includes five different experiments involving sound, touch, taste, scent and sight, all designed to knock participants out of the dating doldrums.
“(In the experiment,) people meet each other kind of backwards from what a normal context would be,” said Amy Chartrand, one half of the Scientists for Love duo, a group dedicated to studying love in all its forms.
At the Friday event, men will be carted into one room and women shuffled off into another.