Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America
The Cybernetics Group, 1946–1953
Focusing on the Macy Foundation conferences, a series of encounters that captured a moment of transformation in the human sciences.
In this sequel to his acclaimed double biography, John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, Steve Heims recounts another fascinating story in twentieth-century intellectual history - a series of encounters that captured a moment of transformation in the human sciences. Focusing on the Macy Foundation conferences, which were designed to forge connections between wartime science and postwar social science, Heims's richly detailed account explores the dialogues that emerged among a remarkable group that included Wiener, von Neumann, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Warren McCulloch, Kurt Lewin, Molly Harrower, and Lawrence Kubie. Heims shows how those dialogues shaped ideas in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and psychiatry.
Steve Joshua Heims, once a research physicist, has devoted his attention to the history of twentieth-century science for the past two decades.