Researchers to discuss the science of facial attractiveness

It has long been said that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ but is there a science behind human attraction?

Leading face researchers Professor Ben Jones and Dr Lisa DeBruine will consider how our faces give clues to personality, health and behaviour in the latest event of the University of Aberdeen’s popular Café Scientifique City series.

They will talk about their work in the Face Research Lab, based in the School of Psychology, which has attracted world-wide media interest.

The free and informal discussion will get underway at 7pm on Wednesday July 13 in Waterstone’s Union Bridge store in Aberdeen.

Dr DeBruine said: “Although philosophers have suggested that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, many scientists conceptualise beauty as reflecting specific characteristics that people, on average, consider attractive.

“Our recent work on facial attractiveness suggests that the philosophers were right. However, simply because beauty is in the eye of the beholder doesn't mean it can't be understood.

“We'll elaborate on this point using our recent work on men's facial masculinity as an example. We'll discuss the types of information that are signalled by facial masculinity such as health, dominance, and romantic style,  and the reasons some women find masculine men very attractive while other women prefer less masculine men.

“Although we'll be specifically discussing masculinity and femininity, we will be happy to take questions on any aspects of attractiveness.”

Café Scientifique Cityis free to attend, open to all and advance registration is not required for the events but visitors are encouraged to come along early as capacity is limited.

For information on all of the Café Scientifique events visit: contact Dr Ken Skeldon Head of the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Science Unit by email at

Café Scientifiqueis supported by a science engagement grant from the Scottish Government.