Mead - Chapter 21
n this selection, Margaret Mead is addressing a European conference of
the Society for General Systems Research, later known as the
International Society for the Systems Sciences.1 She had been among the
founders of this organization some twenty years earlier, in partnership
with such scholars as Gregory Bateson, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth
Boulding, Ralph Gerard, Warren McCulloch, John von Neumann, Anatol
Rapaport, and Norbert Wiener. Other scholars who have subsequently
played prominent roles in the society include Bela Banathy, Stafford
Beer, Peter Corning, Heinz von Foerster, Ervin Laszlo, Harold A.
Linstone, James Grier Miller, Harold Odum and Ilya Prigogine. The date
of this speech is 1972, two years before Mead became the Society's
president. Today, after roughly five decades, she remains the only
woman, and the only anthropologist, to have been so honored.