This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
(London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1937).

All that Bilbo Baggins needed to
solve Gollum’s riddle was time.


Time has become so omnipresent that most people are completely unaware of how much we depend on it. Its measurement not only defines every interaction in our society, but also controls our entire communication system. Once there were problems finding time. Now, none of us can find enough of it.

“Time for Everyone” is a unique opportunity to learn about the origins, evolution, and future of public time from some of the foremost authorities in many branches of time measurement. From its natural cycles in astronomy, to its biological evolution, to how the brain processes it differently at various stages of life and under different circumstances, to how we find it, how we measure it, and how we keep it, this symposium will explore many facets of this fascinating subject of unfathomable depth. The program has been designed for a diverse audience and the speakers carefully chosen not only for their knowledge, but also for their ability to bring their subjects to life.

Enjoy your visit to this website. In addition to reviewing details of the program and the speakers, we encourage you to watch the videos of some ingenious mechanisms designed to answer one simple question as precisely as possible:
What time is it?

The 2013 NAWCC Ward Francillon Time Symposium and Special Exhibition of Spectacular Clocks, Watches, and Sundials
by The Pre-Eminent Master
Thomas Tompion (1639–1713)

California Institute of Technology Pasadena, California

7-9 November 2013