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The Cybernetics Society
Article Type: News, conferences and technical reports From: Kybernetes, Volume 41, Issue 9
The Cybernetics Society is the UK national learned society and professional body promoting pure and applied cybernetics.
The Society was founded at King’s College London in 1968. Its Annual Conferences, and monthly scientific meetings for members within reach of London, have usually been held at King’s College ever since. It holds scientific meetings, conferences, and social events, and engages in other activities to encourage public understanding of science and to extend and disseminate knowledge of cybernetics and its associated disciplines.
[…] the Society is established for the purpose of promoting science, in particular the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of cybernetics pure and applied and especially promoting the efficiency and usefulness of members of the Society by setting up a high standard of professional education and knowledge.
This object is pursuant to the special authority of 10 June 1976 given under section 7(1) (f) of the Friendly Societies Act 1974. This is an authorisation given by H.M. Treasury. The Society is registered with the Financial Services Authority as a Specially Authorised Society and its Register No. is 195 S.A. The Cybernetics Society has the power to award grades of membership which confer the entitlement to use the appropriate post-nominal letters.
The Cybernetics Society is one of the societies or institutions affiliated to the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC).
The Society has a close relationship with Kybernetes, which is its official journal. Papers presented to its scientific meetings and conferences can be assessed by Kybernetes editors for publication. A recent issue (Vol. 40, Nos 1/2, 2011), edited by Martin Smith and Bernard Scott, was devoted to selected papers from conferences of the Society, and a report on the 2009 event, which was the 41st Annual Conference, can be found in Kybernetes, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 151-4.
The fractal image used in the Society’s logo – shown as a small image on the cover of Kybernetes – represents part of the Mandelbrot set. This appropriately represents cybernetics because it is generated by an iterative program analogous to a feedback process, which can either be stable (in the set) or run away to infinity (not in the set). If the image is displayed at greater and greater magnifications, all of them yield similar patterns, but each is slightly different – just like the real world when viewed cybernetically. (For a fuller account see the Society’s web site.)
Grades of membership
The Council may elect any person who holds a suitable degree to be a Member of the Society. Members are entitled to use the initials “M. Cyb. S.” after their names.
The Council may elect to the membership grade of Fellow of the Society any member who holds a suitable higher degree, awarded in whole or in part for a contribution to the field of cybernetics, or who has published suitable contributions to the field of cybernetics of an academic standard equivalent thereto. Fellows are entitled to use the initials “F. Cyb. S.” after their names.
The Council may elect such persons as it thinks fit to be Associates of the Society. The current annual subscription for Associates is the same as for Members and Fellows, at £20. However, for bona fide students of courses approved for the purpose by the Council it is reduced to £10.
The Council may recommend, for election by a General Meeting as Honorary Fellows of the Society, persons of distinction who have contributed to the advancement of cybernetics.
Officers and web site
The President of the Society is Professor Martin Smith and the Secretary Dr David Dewhurst. Further details, as well as much related information, can be found on the web site at: www.cybsoc.org
D.J. StewartVice-President, The Cybernetics Society