calendar: what's on?
- STS 20 Reunion
- STS Seminar: Collecting Minerals in the early Nineteenth Century: The Royal Institution and Humphry Davy
- STS Seminar: Framing problems of anatomical representations in 18thC Florence and 19thC Britain
- STS Seminar: Are Chemical Substances Natural Kinds?
- STS Seminar: Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940-2000
- STS Seminar: Early Years of the Biological Weapons Convention
- STS Seminar: Sarah Edwards
- STS Seminar: Julie Anderson
- STS Seminar: Donald MacKenzie
- STS Seminar: Science and Diplomacy: Joseph Banks and the Macartney Embassy to China
- STS Seminar: Who studies mathematical practice and why
- PUS Seminar: Scidev.net and science journalism in South America
- PUS Seminar: 19thC public astronomy
- New book: Presocratics and the Supernatural
- Annual Grant Lecture
- Talk: Paul Robeson
- Life and Death Drawing: Expression
- Death by Hair: from Colonial South West Africa to Nazi Germany
- Film: When Worlds Collide (1951)
- Create a Wiser World
- Inaugural Lecture: Experimental State
- James Lovelock, Gaia, and science on a pagan planet
- TALK: Always looking at the stars...
The Department of Science and Technology Studies, UCL is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.
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STS Seminar: Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940-2000
Publication date: Oct 2, 2013 4:13:11 PM
Nov 20, 2013 4:00:00 PM
End: Nov 20, 2013 6:00:00 PM
Location: South Wing, Garwood Lecture Theatre
Speaker: Prof Andrew Pickering, University of Exeter
Title: Sketches of Another Future: Cybernetics in Britain, 1940-2000
Abstract: This talk aims to map out an important but little known branch of cybernetics as it developed in Britain from the 1940s to the present. Examples are drawn from the work of leading cyberneticians including Ross Ashby, Stafford Beer, Gordon Pask, Gregory Bateson and R D Laing in fields as diverse as brain science, psychiatry and antipsychiatry, adaptive robotics, biological computing drawing upon lively material such as ecosystems, management, the arts, entertainment and architecture, including connections to eastern spirituality and the 1960s counterculture. We can understand cybernetic projects and artefacts as ontological theatre—as staging and acting out for us a vision of the world radically different from that of modern science and western commonsense, and the talk seeks to explore the ontological politics of cybernetics, arguing that it aimed at an experimental openness to what the world has to offer us, rather than the grim modernist quest for domination and control—revealing rather than enframing, in Heidegger’s terms.
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