May 11-12, 2012 the Chronobiology Workshop will be hosting a conference, "Fascinating Rhythms: A Conference on the History and Philosophy of Biological Rhythms Research," at the University of Minnesota. 

From early studies on the timing of plant germination and bird migration to the more recent search for the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms, the concepts of biological clocks and periodicities have been important to many areas of biology, including ecology, evolutionary biology, zoology, plant physiology, animal behavior, molecular biology, and biomedicine. Indeed, studies of biological rhythms continue to increase in currency due to their integral role in human health, the processes of aging, and the ability of plants, animals, and humans to adapt to challenges of a changing natural and built environment. Although there are certainly aspects of such studies that go back to the ancients and important work dates from the nineteenth century, we have a special interest in looking at biological rhythm research as a case study for how to go about investigating an area of relatively recent science.

As part of “From Biological Rhythm Studies to Chronobiology: A History of a New Scientific Discipline,” a project funded by NSF SES-0958974 and sponsored by the University of Minnesota Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, this conference aims to encourage research in the history of biological rhythm studies by bringing together historians, philosophers, and biologists to reflect on this subject in a multidisciplinary historical framework. 

Planning Committee:
Jole Shackelford
Tulley Long
Sally Gregory Kohlstedt
 Jennifer Gunn
Maggie Hofius
Frank Barnwell

If you have questions about the conference, contact Jole Shackelford

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Conference participants 11 May 2012

photography by Frankie Shackelford


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Conference Registration

Registration is requested by April 30, 2012

Thank you for registering for "Fascinating Rhythms: A Conference on the History and Philosophy of Biological Rhythms Research." Registration is free. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Please email Maggie Hofius if you have problems registering.
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Travel Information

Conference Location:
University of Minnesota 
125 Nolte Center 
315 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Public Transportation:
Coming from the airport, downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota are easy to get to using public transportation. A light rail line runs between the airport and downtown Minneapolis with transfer points to buses along the way. Light rail stations are located at both the Lindbergh and Humphrey terminals of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. For more information about public transportation in the Twin Cities see

Parking Information:
If you plan to drive to the conference, we recommend the following campus parking locations.  All of these facilities are open both Friday and Saturday during the conference and accept cash, check, or credit card.
1) Church Street Garage, 80 Church Street SE
The closest parking facility to the Nolte Center.  Hourly parking.  $12 maximum per day.
2) 4th Street Ramp, 1625 4th Street SE
2 blocks from the Nolte Center.  Hourly parking.   $12 maximum on Friday, $6 maximum on Saturday.
3) Lot 37, 1811 5th Street SE
4-5 blocks from the Nolte Center, $4 flat daily rate. 
For more information, visit the University of Minnesota's Parking and Transportation Services website at

Parking Facilities and Conference Location

Several hotels are located in close proximity to the university, including the following:

ALoft Minneapolis
900 Washington Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 553415

University Hotel Minneapolis
615 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Holiday Inn Minneapolis Metrodome
1500 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Days Inn Hotel University Ave SE
2407 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414