Bernard ScottNov 3, 2021
Cybernetics for the Social Sciences
On this episode, I have the great pleasure of finally getting to talk with one of the “unsung heroes” of cybernetics, whose work has finally begun to receive the critical attention it has long deserved, and upon which I have leaned quite heavily in my own work since I entered this field. With Cybernetics for the Social Sciences, out from Brill in 2021, Bernard Scott has met a long-felt need by authoring a book that shows the foundational relevance of cybernetics for such fields as psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Scott provides user-friendly descriptions of the core concepts of cybernetics, with examples of how they can be used in the social sciences, and explains how cybernetics functions as a transdiscipline that unifies other disciplines and a metadiscipline that provides insights about how other disciplines function. He provides an account of how cybernetics emerged as a distinct field, following interdisciplinary meetings in the 1940s, convened to explore feedback and circular causality in biological and social systems and also recounts how encountering cybernetics transformed his thinking and his understanding of life in general.
Tom Scholte is a Professor of Directing and Acting in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia located on the unceded, ancestral, and traditional territory of the Musqueam people