Debora Hammond (born 1951) is an American historian of science, Provost and Professor Interdisciplinary Studies of the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at the Sonoma State University. She is known as author of the 2003 book "The Science of Synthesis: Exploring the Social Implications of General Systems Theory", and 2005-06 President of International Society for the Systems Sciences.
Debora Hammond received a B.A. in History in 1974 at Stanford University. During the Vietnam War era, she had spent half of her time studying systems theory, and exploring ways of thinking about complex systems that might support more participatory and inclusive forms of social organization. In 1991 she received an M.A. in History of science at the University of California in Berkeley, In May 1997 she completed her Ph.D. in the history of science again at the University of California at Berkeley with Professor Carolyn Merchant. Her dissertation research focused on the history of systems thinking, specifically the lives and work of the five founders of the Society for General Systems Research: Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, James Grier Miller, and Anatol Rapoport.
In 1996 Hammond got appointed to the Sonoma State University, where she joined the Hutchins faculty in the fall of 1997. In addition to teaching courses in the lower division integrated general education sequence, she has taught upper division seminars on such topics as "The Global Food Web"; Oikos; Ecology and Economics; Health and Healing; The Dharma of Complex Systems; Technology, Ecology, and Society; and about the "Systems View of the World". Her teaching revolves around the core issues of ecological sustainability and social justice how to create a healthy society that works for everyone. In 2004 and 2005 Debora Hammond participated in the Complex Systems Summer School at Santa Fe Institute. Her primary purpose was to enhance the quality of the conference program by integrating current developments in the field of complex systems}. In 2008, she was promoted Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University
From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Hammond has also been coordinating the Northern California Earth Institute, an organization that nurtures community dialogue on themes relating to the environment and sustainable living. In 2005–2006, Debora Hammond was the President of International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), in the year that the annual ISSS meeting was held at the Sonoma State University.
Debora Hammond finds much of her inspiration in the wilderness, which is reflected in her work on environmental philosophy and ethics. She believes that social justice depends upon our ability to find more harmonious ways of living with the natural world.
Hammond has written and edited several articles and papers and one book:
- 2003. The Science of Synthesis: Exploring the Social Implications of General Systems Theory, Colorado: University Press of Colorado, June 2003.
- Articles (a selection)
- 1995. "Perspectives from the Boulding files". In: Systems Research, Volume 12, Issue 4 (1995), p 281-290.
- 1995. "Cultural Diversity and the Systems View". In: Philosophy in the Contemporary World, 2: 1 (Spring 1995), pp. 7–12
- 1997. "The Use of Biological Metaphor in the Behavioral Sciences: Society as Organism, Ecosystem, or Irreducible Emergent". Paper presented at the biennial conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology in July 1997.
- 1997. "Ecology and Ideology in the General Systems Community". In: Environment and History, Volume 3, Number 2, June 1997, pp. 197–207
- 1998. "Historical Perspectives on the ISSS: Concluding Reflections". Paper presented at the 42nd Annual Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences July 18–25, 1998, Held at Georgia Tech, Atlanta Georgia.
- 2002. "Exploring the genealogy of systems thinking". In: Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol 19, Issue 5, Pages 429 - 439.
- 2002. "Towards a new Meta-Systems Paradigm for Y3K". With G. Dyer, Y. Horiuchi, M. Otsubo And G. Rowland. In: Journal of Administration and Informatics. Vol 15 (1).
- 2005. "Can Complexity Studies Advance Sustainability?". With Timothy Foxon and Jennifer L Wells. Paper Complex Systems Summer School 2005, Santa Fe Institute.
- 2005. "Philosophical and Ethical Foundations of Systems Thinking". In: Triple C, Issue Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 20–27.
- 2006. "The life and work of James Grier Miller". With Jennifer Wilby. In: Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 429 - 435.
- Debora Hammond's homepage at the Sonoma State University. Retrieved 1 July 2007.
- Debora Hammond, Abstract Historical Perspectives on the ISSS: Concluding Reflections, 42nd Annual Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences 1998, Georgia Tech, Atlanta Georgia.
- Complex Systems Summer School Participants Debora Hammond Santa Fe Institute, 2005.
- Sustainable enterprise conference 2007 Organizer, Bio news 2007.
- Homepage Debora Hammond at the Sonoma State University, 2007.
- Source ISSS Incoming Presidential Address and preview of ISSS Cancun 2005 by Debora Hammond in: Conference program and abstract ISSS 49th annual meeting in Cacun 2005., p. 56.