American Society for Cybernetics

American Society for Cybernetics

Infobox Non-profit
Non-profit_name = American Society for Cybernetics (ASC)
Non-profit_type = Professional Organization
founded_date = 1964
founder =
location = Washington DC, USA
origins =
key_people = Louis H. Kauffman (current president)
area_served = USA
focus = Cybernetics
method = Conferences, Publications, Website.
revenue =
endowment =
num_volunteers =
num_employees =
num_members =
owner =
Non-profit_slogan =
homepage = [ homepage]
tax_exempt =
dissolved =
footnotes =

The American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) is an organization for interdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis of Cybernetics.


The American Society for Cybernetics aims to encourage the advancement of cybernetics as a science. It seeks to support the development of cybernetics research methods and techniques, that improve the manageability of complex systems. And it seeks to support the application of cybernetics towards improving the condition of man and the social use of communication and information processing technology. [ [ ASC CONSTITUTION] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.]

The Society holds an annual conference, conducts seminars on the fundamentals of cybernetics, manages a listserve, and maintains contacts with cyberneticians in other countries. Since 1995, the home office for the ASC has been in the Research Program for Social and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University.

The American Society for Cybernetics is a member of the International Federation for Systems Research and is associated with the Principia Cybernetica Project.


The American Society for Cybernetics was founded in 1964 by a group of people in Washington, DC who were interested in the then new field of cybernetics. The founding members of the Society wanted to encourage the development of this interdisciplinary field.

On July 31, 1964 the American Society for Cybernetics was incorporated in the District of Columbia for the purposes of fostering development of the discipline, anticipating the impact of cybernetics, and providing current information on cybernetics. Paul S. Henshaw presided as chairman.

As a result of his work in organizing the Macy conferences, Warren McCulloch became the first elected president of the ASC. Heinz von Foerster, who was co-editor with Margaret Mead of the proceedings of the Macy meetings, served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the ASC for a number of years. [ [ HISTORY OF THE ASC] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.]

Past presidents

* 2005-2008 Louis Kauffman
* 2002-2004 Allenna Leonard
* 1999-2001 Pille Bunnell
* 1994-1998 Frank Galuszka
* 1992-1993 Rodney Donaldson
* 1989-1991 Fred Steier
* 1986-1988 Laurence Richards
* 1984-1985 Jon Cunnyngham
* 1983-1984 Bill Reckmeyer
* 1980-1982 Stuart Umpleby
* 1978-1979 Barry Clemson
* 1976-1977 Mark Ozer
* 1975-1976 Herbert Robinson
* 1972-1974 Roy Hermann
* 1970-1971 Carl Hammer
* 1969-1970 Lawrence J. Fogel
* 1967-1968 Warren McCulloch
* 1964-1966 Paul Henshaw

ASC activities

ASC Glossary on Cybernetics and Systems Theory

Under the supervision of Stuart Umpleby and Jixuan Hu the Soceity developed a Glossary on Cybernetics and Systems Theory. This glossary was compiled as a working document using several sources. [ [ ASC Glossary] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.] The glossary is published online by the Principia Cybernetica Web.

Disciplinary Matrices in Cybernetics and Systems Science

The disciplinary matrix in Cybernetics and Systems Science is an overview of systems scientists, their symbolic generalizations; beliefs, models, and analogies; values; exemplars; techniques; and guiding questions. [ [ Disciplinary Matrices in Cybernetics and Systems Science] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.]

The matrix is based on an idea proposed by Thomas Kuhn in the 1970 edition of "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". Kuhn proposed, that a scientific theory or a "disciplinary matrix" consists of symbolic generalizations, beliefs or models, values, and exemplars. [ [ Disciplinary Matrices in Cybernetics and Systems Science] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.]

Wiener and McCulloch awards

The "Wiener Medal in Cybernetics" is an annual award by the American Society for Cybernetics. It was originally established to recognize outstanding achievements or contributions in the field of cybernetics. [ ASC Awards] . Retrieved 8 June 2008.]

Up until 2005, the McCulloch Award was a plaque, typically given to recognize significant applications of cybernetics. Effective with late 2005, the McCulloch Award has been redefined to recognize achievements and contributions from younger scholars and researchers working in cybernetics or with applications of cybernetics.

Recipients of the Wiener and McCulloch awards:

* 1968: Robert C. Wood
* 1968: Warren McCulloch
* 1969: Stuart A. Kauffman
* 1969: Stephen Grossberg
* 1970: Stafford Beer
* 1972: Natalia Bechtereva
* 1983: Heinz von Foerster
* 1984: Gregory Bateson
* 1984: Gordon Pask
* 1986: Humberto Maturana
* 1993: Herbert Brun
* 1993: Louis Kauffman
* 2001: Klaus Krippendorff
* 2005: Ernst von Glasersfeld
* 2007: Pille Bunnell
* 2007: Charles François
* 2007: Laurence Richards
* 2007: Stuart Umpleby
* 2008: Humberto Maturana
* 2008: Francisco Varela
* 2008: Ricardo Uribe
* 2008: Richard Jung
* 2008: Lars Löfgren
* 2008: Søren Brier
* 2008: Alexander Riegler


External links

* [ ASC website]
* [ The ASC Glossary of Cybernetics] by the American Society for Cybernetics

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