The 2021 Nobel Prize for Physics was shared by Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi “for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems”. Now the Journal of Physics: Complexity has put together a special collection of open access papers to celebrate this milestone in the history of this fascinating field.

The collection includes perspectives from 18 leaders in the field of complexity – scientists who make up the editorial board of the journal. The contributions examine several key issues for those studying complexity – including the definition of complex systems; the big challenges for the next two decades and the advantages and challenges of interdisciplinary research. The authors also consider the implications of the 2021 Nobel prize on the future of the field. This paper is called “Complex systems in the spotlight: next steps after the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics”.

Advice for early-career researchers

Elsewhere in the collection an exclusive interview with Parisi that was done by JPhys Complexity editor-in-chief, Ginestra Bianconi of Queen Mary University of London. In the interview, Parisi talks about his work on complex systems; provides a perspective on the wider field; and gives advice for early-career researchers who are joining the community. You can watch highlights of the discussion in the above video and read the entire interview in “Thoughts on complex systems: an interview with Giorgio Parisi”.

The collection also includes an in-depth perspective about the work of Hasselmann that is written by Carlo Jaeger of the Global Climate Forum and Potsdam University in Germany. The article looks at Hasselman’s efforts at fostering creative cooperation between climate scientists and researchers from other fields, especially economics. It is called “Klaus Hasselmann and economics”.


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