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Systems Thinkers

Open University/Springer-Verlag
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  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Literature


Systems Thinkers presents a biographical history of the field of systems thinking, by examining the life and work of thirty of its major thinkers. It discusses each thinker's key contributions, the way this contribution was expressed in practice and the relationship between their life and ideas. This discussion is supported by an extract from the thinker's own writing, to give a flavour of their work and to give readers a sense of which thinkers are most relevant to their own interests. Systems thinking is necessarily interdisciplinary, so that the thinkers selected come from a wide range of areas - biology, management, physiology, anthropology, chemistry, public policy, sociology and environmental studies among others. Some are core innovators in systems ideas; some have been primarily practitioners who also advanced and popularised systems ideas; others are well-known figures who drew heavily upon systems thinking although it was not their primary discipline. A significant aim of the book is to broaden and deepen the reader's interest in systems writers, providing an appetising "taster" for each of the 30 thinkers, so that the reader is encouraged to go on to study the published works of the thinkers themselves.

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