The Taste of Water: A Conversation with Christy Spackman


After WAY too long a hiatus, Peoples & Things is back! GET EXCITED!! In this episode, host Lee Vinsel interviews Christy Spackman, Assistant Professor of Art/Science with a joint appointment in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media, and Engineering at Arizona State University, about her recent book, The Taste of Water: Sensory Perception and the Making of an Industrialized Beverage (U California Press, 2023). Most Americans drink water that has gone through industrial filtration and treatment. Those processes often leave a flavor in water. 

The Taste of Water tells the fascinating story of how scientists, engineers, and water system workers have worked for decades to ensure that processed water has an appealing flavor. Vinsel and Spackman talk about a lot of other things along the way, from how water fits into the field of food studies to Spackman’s future plans. HEY! Peoples & Things has a new newsletter, where you can learn behind the scenes details about the podcast and much more. Check it out here.

Your Host

Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

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