A Dialogue with C. West Churchman


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Abstract

In 1996, the author attended a seminar on ethics given by C. West Churchman at the University of California, Berkeley. During that year, the author also interviewed Churchman several times regarding the future direction of information sciences in general and the information systems research field in particular. This article is a compilation of the seminar and the interviews. It is set in the context of both Churchman's earlier and his current views of a global “god,” “good,” “kindness,” and “caring.” C. West Churchman holds that global ethics should lead to the study and design of information systems to solve large and difficult problems of the humankind such as poverty, crime and disease. His Global Ethical Management (GEM) of information sciences translates into abandoning the current goals and boundaries of the information sciences fields and changing what constitutes valid research to globally ethical endeavors.

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