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April 23, 2004

C. West Churchman Memorial Service

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Room F85, Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania

(Charles) West Churchman died on March 21 at the age of 90. During a career spanning six decades, he investigated a vast range of topics including accounting, research and development management, city planning, education, mental health, space exploration, education, and peace and conflict studies, and was widely regarded as a founding father of management science.
Professor Churchman received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Penn before World War II and joined the Faculty of Philosophy at that time. He subsequently served on the faculties of Wayne University [Detroit], Case Institute of Technology [Cleveland], and the University of California, Berkeley. He also served as an adjunct to the Operations Research and Social Systems Sciences Programs in the Wharton School from 1973 to 1986. He was the principal philosopher behind the systems movement and authored several of the most important books on the subject.

Churchman is survived by his wife, Gloria, son, Josh Wharton Churchman, and two grandchildren.

Posted by ACASA on April 23, 2004 at 06:29 PM in Announcements | Permalink


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As a graduate student at UC Berkeley in the early 1960's I had the great privilege
of being employed as a graduate assistant for a little more than a year by West Churchman
at the Research Center for Mgt. Science though I came from a totally different department. At the time I was
starting graduate studies in History of Science (never completed) under Thomas Kuhn. I was learning a lot about
"Paradigm Shifts", but my interests in the social and political implications of scientific community's work found a more
sympatico environment in the company of C. West Churchman. One of the great things about Churchman was the way he included
grad students in his activities outside the classroom or lab. He took me to Columbia University once for a small (and rather
elite) meeting on "Inspection for Disarmament", because as an original member of the organization that became the "World Without
War Council". Seymour Melman organized the meeting and I remember meeting the radical author Paul Jacobs there. Then he took me along
to a meeting at Cambria Pines on the Monterey Coast where I got to interact with the UC Berkeley urbanist Dick Meier. Incredible experiences
for a grad student. I especially remember him laughing when I said that he and Tom Kuhn where like skew lines moving in a similar general direction
when close but bound never to meet. I will miss him greatly but never cease to be inspired by him.

Posted by: John Martinson at May 16, 2004 5:55:55 PM

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