The Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series
Since 1952, the Institute of General Semantics has sponsored the annual Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture (AKML), a presentation given by a distinguished individual on a topic of interest to the field of general semantics.
In 1952, two years after founder Alfred Korzbyski’s sudden death, Institute of General Semantics Director M. Kendig initiated an annual program to remember Korzybski and celebrate the continuation of his goals for human development and progress.
This program became known as the Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture Series, or “AKML.” Kendig viewed this series as a means not only to remember Korzybski, but also to celebrate the contributions of those whose work is scientifically oriented and promotes what Korzybski termed “time-binding,” the unique human ability to build on the achievements of others through the use of symbols and languages.
An impressive lineup of speakers has added significant prestige to the AKML, which over the years has featured prominent authors, scientists, psychologists, educators, and individuals from varied backgrounds.
A few of the more recognizable names include Abraham Maslow, Buckminster Fuller, Albert Ellis, Steve Allen, Leonard Shlain, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Lou Marinoff, Ellen Langer, J. Allan Hobson, Robert Carneiro, James Van Allen, Karl H. Pribram, Deborah Tannen, Sherry Turkle, and others.
Information on the next scheduled Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture is below (when available).
Past AKML Speakers
A complete list of past speakers, along with transcripts of their presentations and audio and video recordings (where available), is below.
The listed affiliations for each speaker were current on the date of the lecture and may have since changed.
- Professor of biological anthropology at University of California, Berkeley
- Author of Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter
- Science advocate, humanitarian, and screenwriter
- Author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America
- Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
- University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University.
- Author of many books and articles about how the language of everyday conversation affects relationships, including You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (New York Times Best Seller)
- President of the Institute for Intercultural Studies.
- Author of eleven books including Full Circles, Overlapping Lives: Culture and Generation in Transition; With A Daughter’s Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson; and most recently, Willing to Learn: Passages of Personal Discovery
- Teacher and documentarian
- Author of Screenagers, host of Frontline’s The Persuaders
Listen to the Lecture (with Introduction by Lance Strate):
Listen to the Lecture (Alternate Version):
- Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
- Director of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center
- Author of The Dreaming Brain, Sleep, Dreaming as Delirium, and, with Jonathan A. Leonard, Out of its Mind: Psychiatry in Crisis: a Call for Reform
Robert R. Blake
- President , Scientific Methods, Inc. Now Grid International, Inc.
Jane Srygley Mouton
- Vice President, Scientific Methods, Inc. Now Grid International, Inc.
Kenneth G. Johnson
- Professor of Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
- Professor of Media Ecology, New York University
- Author of numerous books on media and culture
“General Semantics: Whence 1920…Where 1973…Whither”
J. Samuel Bois
- Viewpoints Institute, Los Angeles. Author of The Art of Awareness
Elton S. Carter
- Dean for Graduate Studies, University of Nebraska
- Professor of Law, University of Florida, Gainesville
- Extraordinary Fellow, Cambridge University
- Internationally-known writer, scholar, literary critic and analyst of culture
“Extending the Parabola”
Charles M. Pomerat
- Professor of Cytology and Director of the Tissue Culture Laboratory, University of Texas, Galveston
William J. Fry
- Research Professor of Physics and Director of Biophysical Research Laboratory, University of Illinois
James A. Van Allen
- Professor and Head, Department of Physics, State University of Iowa
- Distinguished engineer, mathematician, inventor, designer, mechanic, writer and philosopher
- Author of Nine Chains to the Moon and Dymaxion Air-Ocean World Map