In 1956, Kenneth Boulding explained the concept of General Systems Theory as a skeleton of science. He describes that it hopes to develop something like a "spectrum" of theories—a system of systems which may perform the function of a "gestalt" in theoretical construction. Such "gestalts" in special fields have been of great value in directing research towards the gaps which they reveal.
There were, at that time, other important conceptual frameworks and theories, such as cybernetics. Additional theories and applications developed later, including synergetics, cognitive science, complex adaptive systems, and many others. Some focused on principles within specific domains of knowledge and others crossed areas of knowledge and practice, along the spectrum described by Boulding.
Also in 1956, the Society for General Systems Research (now the International Society for the Systems Sciences) was founded. One of the concerns of the founders, even then, was the state of the human condition, and what science could do about it.
The present Translational Systems Sciences book series aims at cultivating a new frontier of systems sciences for contributing to the need for practical applications that benefit people.
The concept of translational research originally comes from medical science for enhancing human health and well-being. Translational medical research is often labeled as “Bench to Bedside.” It places emphasis on translating the findings in basic research (at bench) more quickly and efficiently into medical practice (at bedside). At the same time, needs and demands from practice drive the development of new and innovative ideas and concepts. In this tightly coupled process it is essential to remove barriers to multi-disciplinary collaboration.
The present series attempts to bridge and integrate basic research founded in systems concepts, logic, theories and models with systems practices and methodologies, into a process of systems research. Since both bench and bedside involve diverse stakeholder groups, including researchers, practitioners and users, translational systems science works to create common platforms for language to activate the “bench to bedside” cycle.
In order to create a resilient and sustainable society in the twenty-first century, we unquestionably need open social innovation through which we create new social values, and realize them in society by connecting diverse ideas and developing new solutions. We assume three types of social values, namely: (1) values relevant to social infrastructure such as safety, security, and amenity; (2) values created by innovation in business, economics, and management practices; and, (3) values necessary for community sustainability brought about by conflict resolution and consensus building.
The series will first approach these social values from a systems science perspective by drawing on a range of disciplines in trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural ways. They may include social systems theory, sociology, business administration, management information science, organization science, computational mathematical organization theory, economics, evolutionary economics, international political science, jurisprudence, policy science, socio-information studies, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, complex adaptive systems theory, philosophy of science, and other related disciplines. In addition, this series will promote translational systems science as a means of scientific research that facilitates the translation of findings from basic science to practical applications, and vice versa.
We believe that this book series should advance a new frontier in systems sciences by presenting theoretical and conceptual frameworks, as well as theories for design and application, for twenty-first-century socioeconomic systems in a translational and trans-disciplinary context.