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The Mechanical Mind in History$
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Phil Husbands, Owen Holland, and Michael Wheeler

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083775

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083775.001.0001

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The Ratio Club: A Hub of British Cybernetics

The Ratio Club: A Hub of British Cybernetics

(p.91) 6 The Ratio Club: A Hub of British Cybernetics
The Mechanical Mind in History

Philip Husbands

Owen Holland

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the Ratio Club, a group of outstanding scientists who formed much of the core of what can be loosely called the British cybernetics movement. The club was founded and organized by John Bates, a neurologist at the National Hospital. The other twenty carefully selected members were a mixed group of mainly young neurobiologists, engineers, mathematicians, and physicists. The chapter first introduces the club’s membership and describes the birth of the club in some detail. It then lists the club’s known meetings along with discussions of its scope and modus operandi. This is followed by a description of some of the major themes and preoccupations of the club. It highlights the interdisciplinary nature of the intellectual focus of the group and discusses the legacy of the club.

Keywords:   British cybernatics movement, membership, John Bates

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