Publication 2309

Umpleby S. A. (2008) A Short History of Cybernetics in the United States. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 19(4): 28–40. Fulltext at
Key events in the history of cybernetics and the American Society for Cybernetics are discussed, among them the origin of cybernetics in the Macy Foundation conferences in the late 1940s and early 1950s; different interpretations of cybernetics by several professional societies; reasons why the U. S. government did or did not support cybernetics in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s; early experiments in cyberspace in the 1970s; conversations with Soviet scientists in the 1980s; the development of “second order” cybernetics; and increased interest in cybernetics in Europe and the United States in the 2000s, due at least in part to improved understanding of the assumptions underlying the cybernetics movement. The history of cybernetics in the United States is viewed from the perspective of the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) and several questions are addressed as to its future.


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