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ABOUT ASC EVENTS   Historically, the field of cybernetics has relied on conferences and similar events as the context for bringing together people from diverse disciplines who have similar interests. Cybernetics itself coalesced as a discipline during the 1940's in a series of meetings called the Macy Conferences.

Continuing this tradition, the American Society for Cybernetics sponsors conferences and other occasional events to provide the multidisciplinary field of cybernetics a focal venue for such interactions.

This Webpage provides a summary overview of ASC's most recent and upcoming events.


ASC 2008 Conference
BCL (Biological Computation Laboratory) 50th Anniversary
May 11th to 15th, 2008: Urbana Illinois

2008 sees the 50th anniversary of the founding, by Heinz von Foerster, of the Biological Computer Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana / Champaign.

The BCL a cauldron of cybernetics and the home of second order cybernetics, featured a star studded cast of membes and visitors. Heinz was also one of the founders of the ASC, which has provided a spiritual home for second order cybernetics since its origination.

Our conference will celebrate this remarkable laboratory in joint festival with the Department of Electrical Engineering at UIUC, which was the umbrella under which the BCL sheltered.

This activity is being organized to coincide with the 8th Understanding Complex Systems (UCS) Symposium (12 - 15 May) on the topic Informatics, Energy and Others.

You will notice that there are two conferences that are running simultaneously. Though these conferences maintain separate programs, they are set up such that anyone registering for one conference can attend the other - free of charge. Please note that the ASC conference starts first (11 May) and overlaps the BCL conference (12 - 15 May). Attendees are able to move back and forth between both conferences at their discretion.

Please note: ASC members will receive a substantial price break when registering through the ASC. Therefore please register for these conferences by clicking on the following link:

The programme is being planned and co-ordinated by Lou Kauffman and Beth Simpson.

For more information, please go to the ASC 2008 Conference webpage:


Spring 2007
Urbana-Champaign IL
Conference Theme: Constructivism, Design, Cybernetics: Radical, Social, 2nd-Order

July 2006
Sonoma CA
(co-sponsored with ISSS)
In 2006, the annual ASC conference event was combined with the 50th annual ISSS meeting, which ASC co-sponsored:

Sonoma 2006:
The 50th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences
Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, USA
July 9th - 14th 2006

For more information on the 2006 conference, visit the ISSS Sonoma 2006 Conference Page.

October 2005
Washington DC
The 2005 ASC conference (27 - 30 October in Washington DC) was organized around the theme 'The Many Interpretations and Applications of Cybernetics'.

For more information on the 2005 conference, visit the 2005 Conference Information Page.

August 2004
The 2004 ASC Conference was held in Toronto during the week of 4 - 8 August 2004. The theme for the conference was 'Well-Being of Systems'.

For more information on this past conference, visit the 2004 Conference Information Page.

To access download-able versions of some of the Conference contributions, visit the 2004 Conference Programme Page.


November 2003
The 2003 ASC Conference was held in Vienna (Austria) in mid-November 2003. ASC entered into a collaborative co-sponsorship for two events focusing on the work and the contributions of Heinz von Foerster.

For more information on this recent conference, visit the 2003 Conference Information Page.


Santa Cruz
ASC's 2002 Conference was held June 13 -16, 2002, at the Baskin Visual Arts Studios and The Music Center, University of California Santa Cruz.

The theme of the 2002 Conference was:

Ecological Understanding II: Design and Conversation

The objective of the conference was to address two questions:

  • What can understanding of conversation bring to an understanding of ecology?
  • What can ecological understanding bring to design?

For more information, visit the 2002 Conference Legacy Page.

The Legacy Page offers archival information on the event, its itinerary, and a set of presentation materials, abstracts, notes, etc., submitted by 2002 Conference presenters for inclusion here on the ASC website.

ASC's 2001 Conference was held May 27 - 29, 2001 (with extended activities May 23 - 25) at the University of British Columbia Conference Center in Vancouver.

The theme of the 2001 Conference was:

The Praxis of Cybernetics and the Cybernetics of Praxis

In our 2001 conference we explored and discussed the "praxis" of cybernetics, that is, its application in any domain. Equally important, we also explored the cybernetics of praxis, that is, what the awareness of how we do what we do modulates our activity in any domain. This was a conference for the practical and for the visionary. As such we envisioned it as an event of interest for the practical visionary and the reflective practitioner. We could say that we are concerned with the heart and soul of what we do.

For more information, visit the 2001 Conference Legacy Page.

The Legacy Page offers archival information on the event, its itinerary, abstracts, and an archive of selected papers.

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