J (Jan 2020)

Night Matters—Why the Interdisciplinary Field of “Night Studies” Is Needed

  • Christopher C.M. Kyba,
  • Sara B. Pritchard,
  • A. Roger Ekirch,
  • Adam Eldridge,
  • Andreas Jechow,
  • Christine Preiser,
  • Dieter Kunz,
  • Dietrich Henckel,
  • Franz Hölker,
  • John Barentine,
  • Jørgen Berge,
  • Josiane Meier,
  • Luc Gwiazdzinski,
  • Manuel Spitschan,
  • Mirik Milan,
  • Susanne Bach,
  • Sibylle Schroer,
  • Will Straw

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 1
pp. 1 – 6


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The night has historically been neglected in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. To some extent, this is not surprising, given the diurnal bias of human researchers and the difficulty of performing work at night. The night is, however, a critical element of biological, chemical, physical, and social systems on Earth. Moreover, research into social issues such as inequality, demographic changes, and the transition to a sustainable economy will be compromised if the night is not considered. Recent years, however, have seen a surge in research into the night. We argue that “night studies” is on the cusp of coming into its own as an interdisciplinary field, and that when it does, the field will consider questions that disciplinary researchers have not yet thought to ask.