Historical Documents

About the Society

The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is among the first and oldest organizations devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems, and remains perhaps the most broadly inclusive. The Society was initially conceived in 1954 at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, and Anatol Rapoport. In collaboration with James Grier Miller, it was formally established as an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1956. Originally founded as the Society for General Systems Research, the society adopted its current name in 1988 to reflect its broadening scope. Read More ...

A History of Meetings of the Society 1954 - Present

In December of 1954, under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a meeting of some seventy people was held in Berkeley to form a society for the exploration and development of the ideas that von Bertalanffy, Boulding, Rapoport, and Gerard had come together to discuss earlier that year in Palo Alto at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (a newly established Ford Foundation enterprise).

The Society was originally formed as the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory, which was then changed to the Society for General Systems Research in the fall of 1955. The name was changed again in 1986 to the International Society for General Systems Research, and then finally, in 1988, to the International Society for the Systems Sciences.  Click Here for Full List of Meetings ...