Amplifier for Art, Science and Society

Photos: Julien Gremaud

The Clocks Around and Within Us

Anna Wirz-Justice with Bharath Ananthasubramaniam, Steven A. Brown, Horacio O. de la Iglesia, Diego A. Golombek, Carl Hirshie Johnson, Till Roenneberg, William J. Schwartz

The Clocks Around and Within Us, an interactive interface, explores the history and discoveries in chronobiology in seven themes.

Being healthy: it’s about time reflects on the impact of chronobiology on our everyday lives: why sleep? when should I take my medication? what is melatonin? how does light treat mood and sleep disorders? can we improve daylight access within the built environment?

An owl in the morning is merely conforming explores the temporal dilemmas we are confronted with in the industrial era, with our body clocks often out of sync with our social schedules.

Generating internal body time describes the endogenous circadian rhythms present in all organisms and their adaptation to the day-night cycle.

Revealing circadian clock cells and circuits presents the localisation, structure, and rhythms of internal clocks in a variety of species via images, real-time videos, and reflections of some of the field’s pioneers.

How and why do we have clocks? describes the evolution of clocks as an adaptation to the cyclic environment, whereby they anticipate important daily changes, tell the time of day, recognise seasons by measuring daylength, and enhance reproductive fitness.

Lunar and seasonal clocks illustrates how the influence of the moon and seasons on living species has been known since prehistorical times. Yet, the notion that lunar and seasonal rhythms could be governed by clocks like those that regulate our daily rhythms has only been explored more deeply in the last fifty years.

Learning from virtual clocks deals with the abstraction of rhythms to the world of numbers and equations: How can maths describe clocks? How does it help our understanding and potentially improve our health and our society?