All the Cybernetics Society Honorary Fellows have enlarged the vision of humanity. They include five Nobel Prize winners, most recently the 2020 award to Roger Penrose, an existing Hon Fellow. Others such as Lovelock have contributed to Noble prizes.
The election of an Honorary Fellow is made by the members (at an AGM) following recommendations by Council. Proposals are invited each year. The award is our highest honour to the general field of research and practice and does not require prior membership of the Society. We also award Distinguished Member status to members who have made an outstanding contribution to the Society or community of cybernetics. At present this has been awarded to Dr D.J. Stewart for his contribution to cybernetic theory (through the ontological concept of imparity in ternary theory, a third member of the structure of the world alongside energy and information). He also contributed over several decades to the Society and to cybernetics, heading teaching at Brunel, as Vice President of CybSoc and its tech developer, and as an outstandingly knowledgeable member of the community.
The award of Honorary Fellow has tended to go to eminent scientists (and historically to men therefore) but the Society also recognises contribution to the field of practice, where innovations deriving from and/or contributing to cybernetic theory and method have been exceptional. The first woman to accept an Honorary fellowship was Dr Carmen Hijosa, distinguished designer of fashion items and of an integrated recursive structure of vegan fibral materials (Piñatex), kind engineering processes within a circular economy, and social development initiatives.
The list of Honorary Fellows
- Prof. Sir Eric Ash CBE FRS FREng FIET former Rector of Imperial College
- The late Prof. Horace Barlow FRS. Visual neuroscientist, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
- The late Prof. Stafford Beer. Founder of organizational and management cybernetics
- The late Sir James Black FRS, Nobel Laureate in Medicine for drug development.
- Sir Walter Bodmer FRS. Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics laboratory, Oxford
- The late Prof. Sir John Eccles FRS, Nobel Laureate in Neurophysiology.
- The late Prof. Peter Fellgett FRS. Physicist, Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University.
- Prof. Brian Josephson FRS, Nobel Laureate in Physics for his prediction of the Josephson effect.
- Prof. James Lovelock FRS CH CBE.
- Prof. James Lovelock FRS CH CBE. Famous for the Gaia Hypothesis and inventor of the electron capture detector, which contributed to a Nobel prize for its recognition of damage to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases. Author of 13 books.
- Prof. Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS. Professor of Mathematics Oxford University.
- Nobel laureate 2020 “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity”.
- The late Prof. Abdus Salam KBE FRS, Nobel Laureate in Physics.
- Stephen J. Brewis. Cybernetic mathematical modeller, former Chief Research Scientist at BT.
- Prof. Kevin Warwick. 9 Honorary Doctorates, author of 5 books on robotics and cybernetics.
- Prof. Peter Cochrane OBE. FREng. Former Chief Technology Officer at BT.
- Professor Nick Jennings CB, FREng. Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) Imperial College.
- Prof David Deutsch FRS. Theoretical Physicist at Oxford University, quantum computing pioneer.
- Prof. Brian Collins CB, FREng. Professor of Engineering Policy. Deputy Convenor of UKCRIC.
- Prof. Drs Fredmund Malik, leading European figure in management cybernetics.
- Prof. Humberto Maturana, Chilean cofounder of the theory of autopoietic biological organization and cognition.
- Dr. Carmen Hijosa, distinguished designer of fashion items and of an integrated recursive structure of vegan fibral materials, kind engineering processes within a circular economy, and social development initiatives.
- Prof. Margaret A. Boden OBE ScD FBA, Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex.