Night Matters – Why the Interdisciplinary Field of “Night Studies” is Needed
Kyba CCM., Pritchard S., Ekirch R., Eldridge A., Jechow A., Preiser C., Kunz D., Henckel D., Hölker F., Barentine J., Berge J., Meier J., Gwiazdzinski L., Spitschan M., Milan M., Bach S., Schroer S., Straw W.
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 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 when it does, the field will consider questions that disciplinary researchers haven’t yet thought to ask.