Knowing, Life, People

Humberto: Honouring Maturana

  The Maturana festival, a Festschrift with a difference, is a worldwide multi-event project that began in May 2021 and is intended...

Written by Angus Jenkinson · 1 min read >


The Maturana festival, a Festschrift with a difference, is a worldwide multi-event project that began in May 2021 and is intended to continue to explore, appreciate, and celebrate the work of Professor Humberto Maturana HonCybS in the various fields of the biologies of cognition, love, and autopoiesis in which he was a pioneer.  It will recognise and have regard for the various close collaborators with whom he developed his understanding and the scientific works and theories with which he is associated.  The project has been initiated together by the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) and the Cybernetics Society with the support of the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing.  Constructivist Foundations and the Journal of the Cybernetic Society are other academic publishing partners.  It is intended to invite partners as collaborators in the ongoing initiative, such as Matriztica, IFSR, RC51, WOSC, Metaphorum….   The project is likely to run for at least 3 years.

Leading participants will share a calendar, portals to find material, activities, work, and ideas. It is hoped to develop a network for cybernetics, autopoiesis, and between the fields Humberto Maturana cultivated or inspired. Co-creators of the initiative with me were Pille Bunnell FCybS and Frederick (Fred) Steier. Pille was the editor of Maturana’s book on humanness and the biology of love and supported the ASC’s contribution while Fred is both a leading member of the ASC and editor of the journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing.

There are five key objectives:

  1.  To appreciate and respect Humberto Maturana and his leading collaborators for their achievements.
  2.  To cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of these scientific and humanitarian projects within and by the worldwide cybernetics community and in so doing to foster international collaboration and scientific community.  Applications will be included beyond such central biological fields as autopoiesis, ecology, language, cognition, and evolution.  An appreciative critique finding further scope for research and development will also be encouraged.
  3. To increase recognition and reconsideration of  Maturana’s work in wider fields of scholarship and policy-making (i.e. beyond the natural cybernetic or autopoietic).
  4. To encourage new thinking about the nature of life, humans, and the social order in the media and public discourse according to the principles explicit and implicit within his work.
  5. To enhance the cybernetics community, worldwide associations, scholarship, education, and collaboration and thereby to recognise and stimulate further future research and practice.
  6. To achieve this, it is hoped to inspire a series of events, which may include physical and online conferences, presentations, journal issues, papers, website forums, models, and other resources for sharing scholarship, enquiry, practical experience, and design methods will be developed in collaboration across the various bodies sharing common tags (keywords) and branding, making repositories of his work available, and editing or producing mainstream reviews such as Wikipedia.

If you are interested in contributing to the project please contact one of us or write a comment.

Angus Jenkinson FCybS

Image (logo) for the project to honour Prof Humberto Maturana’s legacy

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