In May 1960, Manfred E. Clynes and Nathan S. Kline attended the Air Force School of Aviation Medicine to participate in the Psychophysiological Aspects of Space Flight Symposium. They presented a paper called “Drugs, Space, and Cybernetics”. The proceedings of the symposium were published in 1961 but before that, an excerpt of Clynes & Kline’s paper appeared in the September issue of Astronautics magazine (issue 13), entitled “Cyborgs and Space”. Aside from a mention in the New York Times, this is the first time the word appears in print.
September 1960. That’s 50 years ago.
To commemorate, we’ve put together a month long celebration/discussion of the term. It’s one of the most used and abused concepts of the late 20th century – sliding between space exploration, feminist theory, science fiction, medical tech, military practice, critical theory, architecture, and all sorts of other arenas. There’s much to say and remember about it.
Over the next 30 days we’ll put up 50 posts about the many aspects of the word ‘cyborg’. We’ve got essays, fiction, links to great older material, comics, and even a song. We’re going to talk about Daleks, IEDs, Renaissance memory palaces, chess computers, prosthetic imagination, Videodrome, mutants, sports, and maybe the Bible.
It’s gonna be great.
Keep an eye on http://50cyborgs.tumblr.com and try #50cyborgs on Twitter.