The Walter Buckley Memorial Award


Award winners:

2018 Toronto: Ksenia SidorovaFrancia Peniche, and Astrid K. Rivero
Languaging to trigger change: second-order intercultural conversations with urban youth of Maya descent

2017 Medellín: David Karminski Katz
Building the meanings of Death. An approach from complex systems to news stories of death.

2016 Vienna: Jesper Tække and Michael Paulsen
Between Competencies and Bildung in the Digital Medium Environment.

2015 Zaragoza: Blanca E. GonzálezAngélica CardonaAlfonso EspinozaEvodio D. HernándezOciel MonroyPaola ÁlvarezChristian A. GalindoNéstor RamírezJosé A. ValenciaDavid R. AguilarJosé GuadalupeDaniel Serrano, and Alejandra Pérez
Cybercultur@ and knowledge communities: The experience of an emerging community of knowledge at the University.

2014 Yokohama: Giovanni Boccia Artieri and Laura Gemini
Towards a Methodology of Visual Analysis on Twitter. the Earthquake in Northern Italy.

2013 Mérida: Luciano Gallón
Regional Sustainability Model. A Networking Building Tool for the Promotion of Sociocybernetics.

2012 Faro: Ilknur Oner
Complexity of recent disaster and migration patterns: Examples of Thoku – Japan.

2011 Cracow: Dominika Salwa
Management of a system: Example of an economic zone.

2010 Gothenburg: Luca Rossi
Mass media system 2.0: An empirical analysis of news propagation path in social network sites.

2009 Urbino: Corinna di Gennaro and Alberto Pepe
Political protest Italian-style: The dissonance between the blogosphere and mainstream media in the promotion and coverage of Beppe Grillo’s V-day.

2008 México: Zachary Johnson
Micro/macro decisions in university leadership and governance: Luhmann in action.

2007 MurciaMargarita Maass
The social memory construction on the technology: A sociocybernetic reflection.

2006 Durban: José A. Amozurrutia
Sociocybernetics applied in cultural activity analysis.


Name: “Walter Buckley Memorial Award for Excellence in Presenting Sociocybernetics” of the ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

Purpose: To encourage the improvement of oral paper presentations in conferences by giving a prize to the best presentation in the RC51 Sessions at a Congress or at an RC51 Conference. This award will be given for the didactical and technical quality of presenting and communicating with the audience, as well as the content of a scientific paper itself regarding the field of Sociocybernetics. Thus, mere technical features like, e.g., an impressive PowerPoint show without much scientific content is not eligible but those oral paper presentations with a good combination between a clear presentation able to communicate with the public and conceptually solid in Sociocybernetics.

Rationale: The personal oral presentation of scientific findings and direct communication with an audience remains a key to the communication, understanding, and discussion of scientific findings and ideas, which are essential for scientific progress. This also remains true in the face of the overwhelming abundance of technical and electronic tools available nowadays for exchanging information across distances as well as supporting face-to-face communication. Many presentations at congresses and conferences are excellent but there are many others that could be improved to provide more important contributions to the progress of science.

RC51 on Sociocybernetics wants to give such a prize because Cybernetics is – following Norbert Wiener’s formulation – a science of communication and, as per Heinz von Foerster’s formulation of Second Order Cybernetics, a science of observing observers. Hence, it makes every sense for RC51 on Sociocybernetics to self-referentially observe its own observers and try to promote and improve scientific communication.

The name of the award refers to the late Walter Buckley (born in 1922, deceased on January 27, 2006, at the age of 84 in Durham NH, USA). It was chosen because Walter Buckley made great efforts during his lifetime to spread the word on systems and cybernetics both within and beyond the social science community.

The Board of the RC51 considers an award referring to Walter Buckley as a most appropriate way to honor this eminent sociologist and systems scientist. It will maintain a lasting memory of Walter Buckley both within RC51 and within the wider social science and systems community.

Recognition: The award will consist of a certificate to be given to the winner. There will be an announcement of the winner on the RC51 website and in the RC51 Newsletter. Results will be also shared with the ISA.

Eligibility: Eligible persons are all participants presenting a paper orally in an RC51 Session at a World Congress of Sociology or at an intermediate “International Conference of Sociocybernetics”, whether organized by RC51 independently or conjointly with some other organization. All participants are eligible irrespective of their ISA or RC51 membership status. The same person may receive the award once only in the four-year period between one World Congress of Sociology and the next.

Equal Opportunities: The award will be given strictly on the basis of the merits of the presentation, irrespective of gender, nationality, language, etc. RC51 makes special efforts to provide a forum for French and Spanish speaking scientists, French and Spanish being official languages of the ISA as well as English. There are thus equal opportunities for these language communities also. If the presentation is not given in the presenter’s mother language an appropriate adjustment will be made in the evaluation.

Nominations: All participants in the respective RC51 sessions, whether presenting or not, can nominate a presentation for the award, to be seconded by at least one other person. Nomination and seconding of one’s own presentation is not admissible. If there are no nominations, the RC51 International Scientific Committee of the respective congress or conference is responsible for nominating at least one candidate.

Selection Process: From the nominated presentations the best one will be chosen by the members of the RC51 International Scientific Committee of the respective congress or conference who are present. At least three 3 members are required to make a decision. If not enough members of the RC51 International Scientific Committee are present, numbers will be made up from RC51 Board members who are present at the congress or conference. The selection committee is free not to give the award if it deems there has been no presentation of sufficient excellence.

Along with the fact that a high quality of all papers presented in the respective events is ensured by peer-review and acceptance by the RC51 International Scientific Committee, and that the concept of “didactical” and “technical” itself implies communicating a content, the rule that the selection committee is not obliged to give the award also ensures that only presentations based on high-quality papers can receive it.

The giving of the Award will be announced in the Call for Papers for the respective congress or conference.