In the beginning of August, sad news reached us about the passing of Charles François, a long term colleague and friend to the BCSSS. He passed away on July 31st in a hospital in Buenos Aires in the loving prescence of his family.
François was one of the most important Latin American figures in systems and cybernetics research, with a deep and wide-reaching knowledge of cybernetics, the systems sciences and complexity. Only a few years after its founding, he became a member of the Society for General Systems Research, which was cofounded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy (today the International Society for the Systems Sciences, ISSS). He went on to be a founding member of the Group for the Study of Integrated Systems (GESI), a leading member of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) and pioneer of the bi-annual Fuschl Conversations in Austria. François was elected as a Member of the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS) and received many other outstanding recognitions.
In collaboration with other key scholars, he brought together a vast body of knowledge and published it in 1997 in the form of an encyclopedia. 2004 the work was expanded to two volumes, including more than 1700 articles and 1500 bibliographical references. In 2015, François donated parts of his personal systems library to the Bertalanffy Center; in 2018, he transferred the stewardship over the encyclopedia to the BCSSS. We have the honor of protecting the integrity of his immeasurable contribution to this field, making it accessible online as well as to eventually take care of its further development in an open, collaborative manner. In the upcoming year, BCSSS is working on solutions to re-publish the encyclopedia online and to create new ways for the wider systems community to add to the core of systems knowledge, honoring Charles François legacy.
We are deeply grateful for the trust and confidence placed in the center in this endeavor, and we will greatly miss our dear friend and his invaluable perspective, insight and generosity.