Virtual Physics of Law Conference at Bucerius Law School

Two-day conference on the physics of law hosted by Bucerius Law School

On 12 and 13 November 2020, Daniel Martin Katz (Chicago-Kent College of Law/Illinois Institute of Technology/Bucerius Law School), JB Ruhl (Vanderbilt Law School), Pierpaolo Vivo (King’s College London), and Dirk Hartung (Bucerius Law School) hosted a conference on the physics of law.

It’s all about complexity science

The conference analyzed law through the lens of complexity science, a new field that looks at the interplay of law and society as a complex adaptive system. The research topic is intended to foster cross-fertilization between fields such as statistical physics, computational social science, politics, and legal studies, which have traditionally followed rather separate trajectories.

Many authors, one issue: physics

62 authors presented 20 papers, all of which are to be submitted for a special issue of Frontiers in Physics, a peer-reviewed open-access publication for physics with an impact factor of 2.638. The authors included scholars from Harvard University, New York University, Singapore Management University, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics – and Bucerius Law School. The special issue is edited by Daniel Martin Katz, JB Ruhl, and Pierpaolo Vivo.

300 people at the conference

Over 650 audience members from 48 countries signed up for the conference, and roughly 300 people participated. The audience consisted mostly of scholars and students, as well as a healthy number of lawyers and legal industry businesspeople. Both presenters and participants evaluated the experience favorably.

Hosted by Bucerius Law School

The conference was held online using Zoom Webinar and organized by our school’s newly established Center for Legal Technology and Data Science. Technical support was provided by our outstanding Learning Innovation Lab.

The special issue will contain all successfully peer-reviewed contributions and will appear in Frontiers in Physics in the first half of 2021. Visit for details about the special issue and for details about the conference.


Lauritz Gerlach