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Deprived of Darkness

The unnatural ecology of artificial light at night

By
11:56am, April 16, 2002

In 1988, physician and amateur moth enthusiast Kenneth D. Frank published a scientific paper that pulled together much of what researchers then knew about the consequences of artificial night-time lighting on moths. That paper is the closest thing the nascent field of artificial-light ecology has to a classic work. It didn't exactly trigger the response one might expect from a seminal study, however. The report has received precious little attention and stimulated no immediate cascade of follow-up research. Frank recently searched the scientific literature to count how many subsequent papers had made reference to his study–and found exactly one.

Nevertheless, Frank and a handful of other scientists are endeavoring to synthesize a coherent und

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