Cambridge Philosophical Society

Promoting Scientific Inquiry

Founded in 1819 'for the purpose of promoting scientific inquiry', The Cambridge Philosophical Society is an exciting hub for the promotion of scientific research, discussion, and learning. Discover more…


Show All



Upcoming event

Some wrinkles in Gauss’ Theorem: Mathematics of everyday objects from Pizza to Umbrellas and Parachutes - G. I. Taylor Lecture

Professor Dominic Vella

  • 30 January 2023, 18:00 – 19:00
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Thin objects are easy to deform, as we see in everyday life: a piece of paper crumples, while an umbrella may invert in the wind.  It is also clear that such thin structures  choose to bend, rather than compress/stretch, whenever possible. Gauss’ "Remarkable Theorem” severely restricts what types of pure bending deformations can happen with consequences from how best to eat pizza to the domed roofs of buildings. Nevertheless, as I will show, Gauss’ Theorem can be subtly subverted by objects that have a small, but non-zero, thickness.

View Details



Upcoming event

Building your life-support system; a new paradigm for human placental development

Professor Graham Burton

  • 13 February 2023, 18:00 – 19:00
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre

Growth during the intrauterine period is a critical determinant of life-long health. During this period the placenta acts as the baby’s life-support system, transferring nutrients and orchestrating maternal adaptations to the pregnancy. But what stimulates formation of the placenta? Development of the human placenta is precocious, and for many years was considered the pinnacle of evolutionary advance amongst mammals by providing early and intimate access to the maternal circulation. Over the last two decades our understanding of the physiology of early pregnancy has undergone radical revision. It is now appreciated that for the first three months the placenta is nourished by the secretory lining of the uterus rather than maternal blood. Furthermore, evidence from domestic species and recently derived human organoid cultures indicates that a signalling dialogue operates between the placenta and the uterus, increasing the release of growth factors and nutrients by the latter. In this way, the placenta stimulates its own development, ready to support the baby. Evidence for this concept will be presented, and the clinical implications discussed.

View Details


Show All

Cosmic Wonder

Cambridge researchers create tetrataenite rare-earth-free magnets in the laboratory, which could help in the transition to low-carbon technologies.

Read more

The Cambridge Philosophical Society has funded a number of early career researchers at The Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) in Cambridge, as part of the Society's grants and funding for scientists of the future.

Read more

Responsive image

Funding & Grants

A long history of supporting the scientists of the future

In line with the core aim of 'keeping alive the spirit of inquiry’, the Society awards a number financial grants for future scientists, which include a three-year Research Studentships, the Henslow Fellowship, in the fields of Natural Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science and Clinical Sciences. Travel Grants are for Fellows of the Society and help support researchers to attend conferences and visit laboratories.

Watch on


Discover our Journals & Books

From Darwin’s paper on evolution to the development of stem cell research, publications from the Society continue to shape the scientific landscape.


Join the Cambridge Philosophical Society

Become a Fellow of the Society and enjoy the benefits that membership brings. Membership costs £20 per year.

Join today