Studies in Communication: Contributed to the Communication Research Centre, University College, London

By A. J. Ayer; J. Z. Young et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

In 1953 a number of Professors and others at University College London met to discuss the need for more systematic' studies on the problems of human communication. It was realised from the first that these problems were very varied, and the preliminary discussions only served to increase an awareness of their range and complexity. It became obvious, at the same time, that few had attempted a comprehensive approach to a study which so vitally concerns human thought and behaviour, and the success of human organisations.

The group who met in 1953 decided to propose to the College that a Communication Research Centre be formed, and to this the College authorities readily agreed. Certain preliminary difficulties had to be solved. First, in a theme so vast, where were the limitations to be fixed? For some limitations were necessary to render the undertaking manageable. Secondly, how could cooperative discussion and research be sustained by men whose disciplines lay so widely apart?

The first problem was solved in a somewhat arbitrary way. It was decided not to define the limits by a formula, but to include, at least in the preliminary discussions, all the Professors and others who could see their way to making a contribution. These would meet and formulate certain general principles and from these, individual discussions and investigations would develop. It is of interest to record the list of those who were ready to contribute, for nothing can suggest more readily the range of the problems of Communication: Professor A. J. Ayer (Philosophy), Professor H. E. M. Barlow (Electrical Engineering), Professor H. Davenport (Mathematics), Dr D. B. Fry (Phonetics), Professor J. B. S. Haldane (Biometry), Professor C. K. Ingold (Chemistry), Professor B. Katz (Biophysics), Professor H. S. W. Massey (Physics), Professor P. B. Medawar (Zoology), Professor A. D. Momigliano

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Studies in Communication: Contributed to the Communication Research Centre, University College, London
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Introduction 1
  • What is Communication? 11
  • Communication in Biology 29
  • 'Communication Theory' -- and Human Behaviour 45
  • Communication in Economic Systems 69
  • The Influence of Language on Medicine 91
  • Interpretation of Visual Symbols in the Arts 109
  • Communication of Thought in Ancient Greece 125
  • The Experimental Study of Speech 147
  • Colloquial English and Communication 169
  • Appendix 181
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