Radboud Reflects: The Clock versus Biorhythm

Lecture and conversation with science historian Christoph Lüthy and neuroscientist Lisa Genzel
Radboud Reflects

On Monday 31st of October you can join us for a lecture and conversation with science historian Christoph Lüthy and neuroscientist Lisa Genzel organized by Radboud Reflects.

 Winter time is fast approaching. Time to get back into the discussion about whether or not to set the clock back. Would it be better and healthier for us to follow our own biorhythm, or is following the clock’s rhythm ultimately more beneficial to us? Where does the idea that we have to conform to the rhythm of the clock come from anyway? Come and delve into the conflict between our biorhythms and the rhythm of the clock with science historian Christoph Lüthy and neuroscientist Lisa Genzel.

The history of time

When the clock jumps back an hour, it always takes a while before your biorhythm and the alarm clock are aligned again. In the meantime, we often feel like we are sleeping, eating and drinking at the wrong moments. But the idea that there is a time that is the same for everyone and that always keeps ticking is less old than you might think, and has an interesting history.

In the past, the movement of the sun determined the daily rhythm, but this changed with the invention of the clock in the 14th century. Nowadays we take it completely for granted to get up at the same time all year round, even if this means getting out of bed three hours before sunrise during the winter.

How did it come to be this way? What does conforming to the clock do to a brain that has had millions of years to evolve in a world without any clocks? What role does biorhythm still play in our lives today, and can we still make room for our biorhythm into a world in which the clock reigns supreme?

Come and listen to science historian Christoph Lüthy and neuroscientist Lisa Genzel, and let yourself be carried away by the timeless story of the clock versus our biorhythm.

This program is in English.

About the speakers

Christoph Lüthy is professor of History of Philosophy and Science at Radboud University. In his research he looks at, among other things, the origin of modern sciences and the representation of scientific knowledge.

Lisa Genzel is associate professor of Neuroinformatics at Radboud University. She conducts research into the memory of mice, rats and humans. In particular, she focusses on the influence of sleep processes on memory.


Participation costs € 7,50 | RU employees, Alumni Benefits Card-holders pay € 5,-  | Students and pupils and Radboud Reflects-subscribers have free admittance.

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