The Social behind the Congress

The World Congress of Soil Science was one of the first for soil scientists post-Covid and we wanted to ensure that delegates had time to interact socially. We provided a wide-range of activities to allow delegates to do this.

World Congress of Soil Science


The Opening Ceremony and Civic Reception were supported by Glasgow City Council. We were delighted to host the welcome event at the Scottish Events Campus on 31 July, including presentations from the Depute Lord Provost and His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. Laura Bertha Reyes Sanchez, Ex-President of the International Union of Soil Sciences, also presented the Depute Lord Provost with 50 Soil Biodiversity books, which were distributed post-event to local primary school headteachers. This was followed by a Scottish piper and welcome drinks at the Glasgow Science Centre.

World Congress of Soil Science 


The Early Careers Committee hosted a networking event, welcoming over 70 member and non-member Early Career Researchers to come together, chat and share their research.

Later in the same week, the EC Committee and their peers had a fantastic social evening at a local pub in Glasgow. With over 30 ECRs coming together, it was another highlight of the congress calendar and a relaxed evening enjoyed by all!

The Society AGM was held during the Congress where delegates were invited to join the Board and executive for elevenses, with tea and birthday cake to celebrate the Society’s 75th anniversary.

World Congress of Soil Science


The Congress theme, Soil Science – crossing boundaries, changing society, focused on the link between soil and society, with sessions covering soil systems, soil processes, soil management and how we interact with and use soils around the world. The core programme was also supported by tours and a cultural programme for delegates and the wider public to explore our diverse environment and culture.

We delivered several tours visiting sites of soils of interest and soil-science related organisations across Scotland;

  • Stirling tour – Changing Environment: A Historical and Modern Perspective on Soil Use & Management along the Carse of Stirling
  • Soil Culture Day Tour
  • Post- Congress Tour – North Scotland
  • Isle of Arran tour
  • Glasgow Tour – Impact of the city’s Industrial Legacy, Urban Regeneration and Greening
  • Boghall Glen tour. A tour to Boghall Glen on the Bush Estate


World Congress of Soil Science


  • Running, Yoga sessions and Indoor climbing 

To socialise among the delegates and learn them more about the dense history of Glasgow, several local activities were arranged. Free wellness yoga sessions and indoor climbing activity held at the Gala Foyer of SEC, and a 5 km morning walk at SEC in the local area was arranged for visiting the city and sightseeing in a short time.

gala dinner

The Gala Dinner was held at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, a real highlight, with 400 delegates entertained by a traditional Scottish menu and ceilidh . At the Gala Dinner, the International Union of Soil Sciences presented a number of awards including;

  • The Dokuchaev Award: to Professor Dr. Nicola Senesi for his basic research in any field of soil science
  • The Von Liebig Award: to Dr. Yong-Guan Zhu for recognising his outstanding contributions in applied soil science research. 
  • The Jeju Award: to Dr. Umakant Mishra as a young and mid-career soil scientist. 
World Congress of Soil Science


To support the Society’s aim of   highlighting the importance of soil in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we released four videos in conjunction with the World Congress of Soil Science 2022.

The one-minute-long videos, Life on Land (SDG 15), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) and Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), are aimed at non-scientists. The awareness-raising videos provide an overview of the importance of soil, based on the evidence-base.

World Congress of Soil Science


We wanted this World Congress to be the most inclusive to date and delivered the following activities to ensure it was as accessible as possible:

  • The review process for abstracts was completed blind with measures taken to ensure no biases in the process
  • Of the 445 oral presentations accepted by the scientific review panel 124 were female (27.9%), 170 male (38.2%), 2 of other gender (0.4%), and 149 preferred not to say (33.5%)
  • Of the 1,488 poster presentations accepted by the scientific review panel 439 were female (29.5%), 395 male (26.5%), 4 other gender (0.3%), and 650 preferred not to say (43.7%)
  • The 22nd World Congress of Soil Science was the first in the series to have elements available in real-time, with the plenary and divisional elements of the scientific programme available to access online. The plenary sessions were deliberately scheduled at different times of day, to provide equity to attendees from around the world
  • Those accepted for poster presentations were able to participate online and upload digital (pico) presentations to accompany their posters. This option was also available for in-person attendees
  • Sponsors were encouraged to make use of our online platforms to further engage digital audiences and allow for networking with remote individuals
  • We supported oral and poster presenters from low-income countries to attend the Congress by offering waived registration fees in return for volunteering at the event.

Learn more about the other pillars of WCSS22