Special Asymmetry Issue of JIMIS

Introduction, Objectives, and Outlook in May 2018


Introduction – Studies on complex systems have emerged during the recent decades. The origin, evolution, and expression of asymmetry became an essential part of numerous complex systems. The journal Nature stated in 2012, that, in modern sciences, asymmetry-related phenomena belong to the five challenges as hard as finding the Higgs boson and just as potentially transformative.1 Asymmetry-related phenomena are an integral part in new developments in arts, language, and social sciences. They become of increasing importance in economy and likewise in natural science such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry individually contribute along with biology to the advanced understanding of microscopic and macroscopic asymmetries. In the frame of the strongly interdisciplinary Asymmetry Project of UCA’s2 Academy of Excellence “Complex Systems”, we organized the First European Asymmetry Symposium (see http://feas.fr), 15–16 March 2018 in Nice, France. With more than 200 participants, 30 oral presentations, contributions of representatives at Cambridge University, Collège de France, and Max Planck Society, an orchestra with more than 50 musicians, and an artist exhibition from the National School of Fine Arts at the Villa Arson, the First European Asymmetry Symposium was highly successful. Scientific and public outreach of our Symposium were extraordinary as evidenced by illustrated reports published in Nature3,Le Monde4 and in Science & Vie. Based on the success of the Symposium and its scientific and public outreach, we now edit a Special Issue on Asymmetry of the journal JIMIS. Please submit your manuscript until the deadline June 30th, 2018.

Objectives – Complex asymmetric systems such as the origin and evolution of asymmetric life, asymmetric amplification, asymmetric structures, asymmetry in economy and art – to name a few – are far from being understood and expressed. We expect that fundamental questions can be answered only through a trans-disciplinary approach that systematically complements the knowledge acquired in the traditional individual disciplines. The Special Issue on Asymmetry will summarize recent advances in the field.

Outlook – This edition of the Special Issue on Asymmetry is accompanied by the foundation of a new European Asymmetry (EA) Institute5 based at UCA. The EA Institute will be a virtual institute without walls that organizes high-level asymmetry-related research and provides a trans-disciplinary infrastructure for academic exchanges via conferences, presentations, and summer schools.


The Guest Editors:
Giovanni Fusco, Alice Guyon, Ulrich Kuhl, Uwe Meierhenrich and Frédéric Patras


1 Nature 481, 2012, 14–17 (DOI : 10.1038/481012a).

2 UCA: University Côte d’Azur (http://www.univ-cotedazur.fr/en)

3 Nature 555, 2018, 414 (DOI : 10.1038/d41586-018-03254-w)

5 European Asymmetry Institute