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Wednesday 7th September 2022 to Friday 9th September 2022

Centre for Mathematical Sciences

United Kingdom


The Edwards Symposium Series reaches its sixth year in 2022. Beginning in 2016 and with a gap in 2020 due to COVID, the Series has been funded in part by ongoing generous support from Unilever. In 2021 the Symposium ran in a hybrid format and in 2022 we aim to include some elements of this, but with increased emphasis on welcoming more participants back to the Centre of Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge.

Sir Sam Edwards FRS, in whose name this series was set up, was one of the great scientific minds of the 20th century. This series pays tribute to Sir Sam, recognising the pivotal role he played in bringing advances in the physical sciences to bear on major industrial problems. His fundamental contributions to the field of soft matter ranged from polymer melts, through gels, colloids, granular materials and glasses to optimisation problems.

Each year the Symposium attempts to highlight the fast evolving and diverse nature of soft matter science. Materials in this category are those that are easily deformed by thermal fluctuations and external forces. These properties relate to many industrial and biological systems and puts soft matter at the centre of a wide range of disciplines. The science area has also led to many materials and processes for industry while also posing new fundamental problems. The Symposium continues to build on Sir Sam’s realisation that broad classes of soft materials are governed by unifying physical principles, arising from the geometry, topology and qualitative behaviour of their microscopic components, regardless of their detailed molecular or chemical character.

There is a broad range of fundamental questions that cut across the whole of condensed matter physics and the study of soft matter can lead to fresh insights into these. The Edwards Symposium Series therefore continues to recognise the fast evolving and diverse nature of the field and each year focuses on different areas of new and emerging science.

Aims & Objectives

The Edwards Symposium Series continues to highlight the latest developments in soft matter science with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on theoretical and mathematical models, and on how these models can inform industrial processes, materials, and design. Leading academic speakers will convey their latest scientific work, aiming to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary discussions across the industry/academia boundary.

In 2022, the workshop will focus on the following soft matter areas:

  • Cellular assemblies 

  • Geophysical soft matter

  • Nonequilibrium phase transitions

  • Liquid crystals and LC elastomers (Mark Warner Memorial)

  • Soft matter for health

In keeping with previous symposiums, these themes pose fundamental questions in basic science that will be addressed by distinguished academic speakers. Their industrial relevance will be reflected by the prominence at the Symposium of industrial participants whose oral presentations, posters and informal discussions will inform the discussions and, we hope, lead to concrete future collaborations, of benefit to both sides.


The Edwards Symposia is organised jointly by the Newton Gateway to Mathematics and the Edwards Centre for Soft Matter. The latter is a virtual laboratory, encompassing staff from six Cambridge University Departments, whose role is to promote academic collaborations in Soft Matter Science across the University. Scientific consultation is undertaken by five academic organisers – please see the Organisers tab above for further information.


The sixth Edwards Symposium will take place at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge on 7th - 9th September 2022. A Provisional Programme will be made available soon.

To register please follow the link.

There will be a nominal registration fee (In 2021 this was £75.00 for academics and £100 for non-academics, with an additional charge for the conference dinner. En-suite B&B accommodation will be available at a nearby College (In 2021 the cost was £81.50 per night). Full costing details will be available soon.


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