The Science behind the Congress

With a growing, worldwide focus on climate change and the role soils can play in securing our sustainable future, as well as the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) being held in Glasgow the year prior in 2021, this was a pivotal time for the World Congress of Soil Science to support academics and practitioners in sharing knowledge and information as widely as possible.

The scientific pillar of the World Congress of Soil Science encompassed the full programme of sessions and a large proportion of the exhibition, bringing together knowledge and understanding of soil science from around the globe.

World Congress of Soil Science

Scientific Programme

The World Congress of Soil Science 2022, Crossing Boundaries – Changing Society, aimed to address significant issues affecting our natural environment and soil such as erosion, biodiversity, and impacts on food security, with a wide range of Plenary, Divisional and Interdivisional sessions planned. These sessions focussed on soils and security, the north/south divide, soils and land use, as well as data and information. 

The organised sessions aimed to support academics and practitioners in sharing knowledge and information as widely as possible, and also encourage delegates from varying disciplines to work together and achieve greater success and understanding.

World Congress of Soil Science 

Policy Programme

The Soil Policy event was the first session of its kind at a World Congress of Soil Science, drawing together an expert group of invited speakers to discuss the complexities, challenges and opportunities of soil policy and governance. 

The speakers, over three sessions, explored a range of topics, including the practicalities of regulating soils; the effectiveness of current soil policy; how action can be implemented considering the range of stakeholders involved; what future soil policy could look like; and how to ensure the delivery of positive changes essential to not only reverse the degradation of soils but also ensure the future, sustainable use of all soils. 

Single day delegate passes were available for those wishing to attend select elements of the programme without committing to the full scientific programme. 

World Congress of Soil Science 

Keynote Speakers

The WCSS22 programme featured renowned experts from diverse backgrounds and regions, representing the whole spectrum of those who work with, or rely on soils.

This included speakers from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Soil Health Institute, Microsoft, European Commission, Scottish Government, National Farmers Union, Sustainable Soils Alliance, and many more leading organisations.

The Soil Policy event, in particular, drew together an expert group of invited speakers to discuss the complexities, challenges and opportunities relating to soil health.

World Congress of Soil Science

Abstracts and Presentations

The global reach of the Congress made this a great opportunity for soil scientists and early career members to submit abstracts and showcase their work on a global stage. The Congress brought together a wealth of knowledge and research that was invaluable to all the delegates that attended. 

All the abstracts and presentations were based around the conference theme which was Crossing Boundaries – Changing Society.

We featured all of the approved abstracts online via a presentation book. Click the links below to see the abstracts and presentations that were part of the Congress.

World Congress of Soil Science

Soil Judging Competition 

We hosted the fourth international Soil Judging event, a hotly contested, quadrennial Competition, which was based at Stirling University, and comprised of three days of classroom and field-based training before beginning the competition phase. Over forty students representing nine different countries participated in high-quality soil categorisation training  and competition. 

The winners in the team category were team America (1st), team Australia (2nd) and team Spain (3rd) and the individual competition placings were Clare Tallamy (USA) in first, with Eduardo Vasquez Garcia (Spain) taking second, and Ben Atkins (USA) taking third.

Learn more about these activities in the WCSS22 Social Pillar

World Congress of Soil Science

Grants and Awards

As part of our Charitable aims, we provide a number of grants and awards each year which promote research and education across all soil science disciplines. 

We were able to offer bursaries to delegates from low and lower-middle income economies and Postgraduate or Early Career Professional with the first five years of their career. The bursaries included registration, travel and accommodation fees up to the value of £1,000.

Learn more about the other pillars of WCSS22