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Cancer, Multicellularity, and Complex Systems

A Royal Physiographic Society Jubilee Symposium in partnership with Lund Stem Cell Center and others

Are you interested in advancing the understanding of cancer’s complexity from an evolutionary perspective?

If so, we welcome you to the Royal Physiographic Society Jubilee Symposium on Cancer, Multicellularity, and Complex Systems!

In celebration of over 250 years of support for interdisciplinary collaboration within the realm of science, we are bringing together experts from the fields of evolutionary, tumor and stem cell biology, as well as geobiology, virology, and physics. Within all of these fields, there is a growing understanding that both animal and cancer multicellularity are complex systems with complex interactions. It is time to wrap our heads around how we perceive and understand biological complexity and apply this understanding in cancer research.

This three-day event commences with a keynote lecture by Joel Brown on the topic of ‘The necessity and opportunity for new views on cancer and heritability.

A panel discussion, led by Lars Mogensen, on the challenges and benefits of transdisciplinary science will follow. 

At this event, all are welcome - including symposium participants and the wider public. Reserved seating for registered participants will be available. 

Location: This event takes take place in the University Building’s Auditorium.

Date & Time: 5 September, 2022 | 15:00 - 18:00

Cost: Free

Then follows two days of talks and discussions which are open to scientists - junior scientists are especially encouraged to participate.

Discussion topics include:

  • Transitions in Nature
  • Heterogeneity & Radiations
  • Added Complexity
  • Exploiting the Evolutionary Game

Location: These sessions will take place at the Grand Hotel in Lund, Sweden.

Date: 06 - 07 September, 2022

Cost: 800kr, covering lunch over the course of the two days.

Keynote Speaker 

Joel Brown, ecologist and mathematician

Panel Discussion


Lars Mogensen, journalist


Joel Brown, ecologist and mathematician

Nina Burton, literary scientist and poet

Itai Yanai, computational biologist

Walter Veit, philosopher

Bron Szerszynski, sociologist

Guest Speakers:

Transitions in Nature

  • Sarah Amend
  • Thibault Brunet
  • William Ratcliff
  • Charlie Cornwallis
  • Walter Veit
  • Paul Rainey

Heterogeneity & Radiations

  • Charles Swanton
  • Tobias Uller
  • Anuraag Bukkuri
  • Ala Trusina
  • Carl Simpson

Added Complexity

  • Bron Szerzynski
  • Karina Sand
  • Susan Rosenberg
  • Daniel De Carvalho
  • Kathleen Burns
  • Itai Yanai

Exploiting the Evolutionary Game

  • Eszter Lakatos
  • Robert Gatenby
  • Robert Austin
  • Katarina Stankova
  • Kenneth Pienta

We hope that you will join us in rethinking how we approach cancer and its development!



The symposium is a joint effort, funded by the Royal Physiographic Society, Lund University Cancer Center, Lund StemTherapy, Lund Stem Cell Center, and the Geological Department at Lund University.

Image of the Symposium Partner Logos.

Symposium Details

Opening Day:

Lund University Building in spring surrounded by magnolia trees
Lund University Building in spring. Photo credit: Kennet Ruona.

Welcome: All members of society (public or scientific) 

When: 5 September 2022 | 15:00 -18:00 

Where: Lund University Building’s Auditorium | Lund, Sweden

Cost: Free

Symposium Sessions:

The Grand Hotel in Lund, Sweden on a summer night. Photo.
The Grand Hotel in Lund, Sweden by night.

Welcome: Scientists and especially junior scientists are encouraged to attend.

When: 6-7 September 2022 

Where: Grand Hotel | Lund, Sweden

Cost: 800 kr, covering lunch both days