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The New Science of the Body Clock, with Circadian Neuroscientist Russell Foster

A world-leading expert on circadian neuroscience on how we can better understand and harness the science of rhythm

Every second of the day, tiny biological clocks are ticking throughout your body, from the neural pathways of your brain down to your very cells. But modern life is disrupting this ancient and delicate mechanism in ways we are only just beginning to understand. Artificial light, jet lag, smartphones, air pollution, and out-of-sync work and meal routines are conspiring to push us out of joint. This is not only exacerbating mental health issues such as depression and fatigue, but according to new studies, is also increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, dementia and even cancer.

In May 2022 Professor Russell Foster, a world-leading expert on circadian neuroscience came to Intelligence Squared to discuss his new book Life Time and how we can better understand and harness the science of rhythm. Using surprising examples, he debunked long-standing myths about the best daily routine: from how to use light for a better night’s sleep to using meal times to supercharge your metabolism, from the optimal time to have sex for conception to the extraordinary effects the time of day that we take medication can have on our risk of life-threatening conditions such as strokes. 


Speakers

Speaker

Russell Foster

Professor of Circadian Neuroscience and author of Life Time


Professor of Circadian Neuroscience, Director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi) and Head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford. He frequently contributes to newspapers, television and radio, including an appearance on Desert Island Discs, and has co-written four popular science books - Life Time is his first as sole author.

 

 

Chair

Linda Yueh

Economist, broadcaster, and writer


Economist, broadcaster, and writer. She is Fellow in Economics, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford; Adjunct Professor of Economics, London Business School; and Visiting Professor, IDEAS, London School of Economics. Her latest book is The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today, which was one of The Times’ Business Books of the Year.