Asilomar at Thirty: Reflections on the 1979 NCA/ICA Conference in Honor of Gregory Bateson

Arthur P. Bochner, University of South Florida


In February 1979, 100 communication scholars from across the country gathered at Asilomar Conference Grounds in California to honor Gregory Bateson. The conference, "Human Communication From the Interactional View," featured Kenneth Burke, Paul Watzlawick, Heinz Von Foerster, John Weakland, Jerry Brown, and Bateson. The resulting book Rigor and Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson (Praeger, 1981), edited by Carol Wilder and John Weakland, received the 1982 NCA Golden Anniversary Book Award. Carol Wilder was the conference organizer, and panelists were all primary participants in the conference. Each authored a chapter in Rigor and Imagination. Panelists will reflect on their experience of the conference and the impact of its ideas on themselves and on the discipline.