Celebration for Anne-Christine Davis

Local Organising Committee


On 1st May 2019, the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology hosted a one-day workshop to mark the retirement of Anne-Christine Davis, Cambridge University's first female Professor in the history of the Faculty of Mathematics and the University's first female Professor of theoretical physics.

The meeting celebrated Anne's achievements in theoretical physics, cosmology, particle physics and beyond. There was a full day of research talks, starting at 10:00am, with the keynote colloquium given by Ana Achúcarro (Leiden). Anne's breadth of interests was reflected in the talks at the meeting, covering string cosmology, modified gravity, dark energy, and inflation. Speakers include: Robert Brandenberger (McGill), Claudia de Rham (Imperial), Konstantinos Dimopoulos (Lancaster), João Magueijo (Imperial), Warren Perkins (Swansea), Mark Trodden (UPenn) and Carsten van de Bruck (Sheffield).

Anne's research has mainly been on theoretical cosmology, both at very early and late times, recently focusing on modified gravity and dark energy. She is one of the prime inventors of the chameleon model of modified gravity and the environmental dilation theory. She also works on inflationary cosmology and has investigated the theoretical constraints on modified gravity theories from laboratory experiments. In addition, she is involved in the CANNEX experiment in Amsterdam.

As well as being the first female Professor in the Faculty of Mathematics, where she now holds the 1967 chair of Mathematical Physics, Anne's achievements include being the first woman in the CERN Theory Group and co-founding UKCosmo meetings with Tom Kibble, which are still going strong. She has long been a driving force in the UK cosmology community, and has done much to encourage and further the cause of women in mathematics and science more generally. From 2014 to 2017, she was Cambridge University's Gender Equality Champion for STEMM.

The Local Organising Committee for the workshop was as follows:

Theodor Bjorkmo
Nick Dorey
Amelia Drew
Scott Melville

Aneesh Naik
Paul Shellard
Leong Khim Wong

The programme for the day is below:




Claudia de Rham, A cosmologist's view of gravity


Leong Khim Wong, Scalar fields around point-particle black holes


Carsten van de Bruck, Dark Anne-ergy in Cambridge




Konstantinos Dimopoulos, Anne and I: a cosmic drama


Sebastian Cespedes, Calculating correlation functions using the wavefunction


João Magueijo, How cosmology and particles physics went from enemies to lovers (with a little help from Anne and friends)




Mark Trodden, Extending the double copy


Ana Achúcarro, HEP/GR colloquium: Life, the universe and everything . . . with Anne




Clare Burrage, Dark energy, fifth forces and screening


Warren Perkins, Taking the Feynman out of diagrams


Gonzalo Palma, Future observations can rule out holographic inflation and models based on the Hamilton-Jacobi formalism


Robert Brandenberger, Searches for cosmic strings in observational windows


Drinks reception

The workshop was followed on 2nd May by a UK Cosmology meeting.