June 28, 2017

Edward Goldsmith

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The Ecologist – Statement of Policy (IUAES version)

The Earth as seen from Apollo 17, December 1972 - NASA

The pre-launch Statement of Policy of The Ecologist, which also appeared as Ecology: A Wider View (by E. R. D. Goldsmith) in the Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research (IUAES), Issue 11, 1969, with the following preamble: It becomes daily clearer that many problems remain unsolved in the modern world, […]

Religion in the light of a general behavioural model

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This paper, presented by Goldsmith at the 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (Somerset Hotel, Boston, Mass. October 23-26, 1969), represents an early attempt to articulate, in highly technical terms, concepts that would become significantly revised and reconsidered in later versions. Published in Systematics: The Journal Of The Institute […]

Ecology, controls and short-term expedients

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This interview, by Michael Glenny, was broadcast over Radio Free Europe around the time of the launch of The Ecologist in 1970, as part of the “Can We Survive Our Future” radio symposium. It was later published in an edited compendium of interviews broadcast between 1970 and 1971 on Radio Free Europe (Can we survive […]

Bringing order to chaos – Part 1

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A cybernetic approach to the study of society and ecosystems. From Towards a Unified Science. contents · next chapter » Cybernetics is the science of control. The term was first used in this sense by Norbert Weiner in 1948 and it derives from the Greek word for a helmsman. Cyberneticians assume that things which act as […]

Living with nature

The Earth as seen from Apollo 17, December 1972 - NASA

This is the original editorial piece that launched The Ecologist in July 1970. The Planet Earth is unique in our solar system in displaying those environ­mental conditions required to sustain complex forms of life. In what are, in evolutionary terms, very recent times, its surface or biosphere has been seriously disturbed by two events giving […]

The Road to Chou

Ecologist (Vol 10 No 6-7 - July - August - September 1980)

A timely tale from an ancient Chinese legend After the fall of the Han Dynasty, China passed through an unstable century known as the period of the Warring States, during which it was divided into a number of independent countries often at war with each other. Foremost among these was the Kingdom of Wei, which […]

Bringing order to chaos – Part 2

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A cybernetic approach to the study of societies and ecosystems. From Towards a Unified Science. In the first part of this article the author defined a “system”—a key concept of cybernetics—as an autonomous unit capable of adaptive behaviour. He then showed how societies and ecosystems could be regarded as specialized instances of a system. By […]

Already too many (alternative version)

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Review of The Optimum Population For Britain, Symposium of the Institute of Biology No. 19. Edited by L. R. Taylor. Academic Press [See another review of this volume here] In one of the papers printed in this book the Rt. Hon. Douglas Houghton, M.P., says ‘Population increase in Britain is thought to be something to […]

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