Charles François (systems scientist)

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Charles François
Born (1922-09-05) 5 September 1922 (age 96)
OccupationSystems scientist

Charles François (born 5 September 1922[1]), is a Belgian administrator, editor and scientist in the fields of cybernetics, systems theory and systems science, internationally known for his main work the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics.


Charles François was born in Belgium in 1922, and studied consular and commercial sciences at Brussels Free University. After the Second World War he emigrated to the Belgian Congo, where he stayed from 1945 to 1960, at first as an administrative officer in government and later on creating and developing his own commercial business,also exercising journalism and the socio-political chronicle. Later, he moved to Argentina in 1963, and managed the commercial Office of the Belgian Embassy in Buenos Aires from 1966 to his retirement in 1987.[2]

François founded the Group for the Study of Integrated Systems (GESI), Argentine National Division of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), in 1976, being presently its Honorary President. He is an Honorary Member of the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR) European Systems Society, founding editor of the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics and of its work in progress when organized, member of the IASCYS (International Academy of Systems and Cybernetics Sciences)Honorary President of the Latin American Association of Systemics (ALAS), Honorary Professor of ITBA, Buenos Aires, and was visiting Professor at various universities and educational institutions in Argentina, Perú and Brasil. He became a member of systemic boards and integrated the editorial boards of various journals on Systems and Cybernetics. In 2007 he received from the American Society for Cybernetics, the Norbert Wiener golden medal as a tribute for his work on cybernetics.


In 1952 François came in contact with cybernetics through Norbert Wiener's Cybernetics. In 1958 he joined the Society for General Systems Research now the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). Since 1970, François has participated in numerous meetings of various systems and cybernetics societies.[2] Many courses and seminars on systemics and cybernetics were given by Charles François in Argentina and also in Perú at the IAS; the last edition of them is his "Curso de Teoría General de Sistemas y Cibernética con representaciones gráficas", a CD-Rom with more than 280 drawings edited by GESI in 2007.


François has published some books and dozens of articles and papers:


  • 1976, Cybernétique et Prospective, Namur : International Association of Cybernetics, 1976.
  • 1978, Introducción à la Prospectiva Buenos Aires : Pleamar, 1978.
  • 1985, El uso de Modelos Sistémicos-Cibernéticos como metodología científica, (Systemic-Cybernetic Models used as scientific methodology)
  • 1986, Enfoques Sistémicos en el Estudio de las Sociedades (Systemic Approaches to the Study of Societies).
  • 1992, Diccionario de Teoría General de Sistemas y Cibernética, Buenos Aires : GESI. The first work of its kind in Spanish (475 terms).
  • 1997, International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics, edited by Charles François, München: K. G. Saur. The Academic board of this Encyclopedia includes members such as: John N. Warfield, Robert Trappl, Ranulph Glanville, Anthony Judge, Markus Schwaninger, Heiner Benking, Matjaz Mulej, and Gerhard Chroust. (2nd volume 2004)

Articles & papers, a selection:


  1. ^ Grün, Ernesto. "Charles Francois (* 5. September 1922): 90 years of life in 9 worlds". Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Charles François; Biographical note Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine on, retrieved 24 April 2008

External links[edit]

  • Homepage from Charles François at the IFSR, with many links.