40 Years in America

First ICUS Conference

At the first International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, 1972

If the MFT was a pioneer effort in finances, the first International Conference on Unified Science (later renamed the International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences, or ICUS), was a parallel undertaking in education and the sciences. It was held November 23-26, 1972, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City and brought together twenty scientists from seven nations to discuss "Moral Orientation of the Sciences."

The previous January, Rev. Moon, in the midst of preparations for the seven-city tour, suggested the idea of the conference to Edward Haskell, a lecturer at Southern Connecticut State College and chairman of the Council for Unified Research and Education (CURE). Haskell, who had been met by the New Haven center members in the fall of 1970, was enthusiastic about the proposal and helped draw up plans for the coming autumn.

The Unified Science Conference fulfilled several objectives at once. First, it was intended to be a contribution to society. In his closing address, "The Role of Unified Science in the Moral Orientation of the World," Rev. Moon emphasized human happiness, cultural advancement, the "reformation of spiritual life ... by establishing a new standard of value," the unity of science and religion, and the establishment on earth of the ideal unified world. In pursuit of these ends, conference organizers gathered scientists from private industry, Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Oxford. The conference also enhanced the churchís internal solidarity by integrating diverse educational and cultural activities, be they Koinonia projects, student groups, or the events of Mr. Choiís Re-Education Foundation. It also showcased the movementís versatility. As noted in New Age Frontiers, "The whole conference staff -- administrators, typists, hostesses, messengers, security guards, PR men, and photographers -- were family members." No less than OWC or MFT, ICUS further developed movement sophistication.

The conference included an opening banquet and three working days of lectures, responses, panels and open discussions on a number of themes, such as: "Tools for Solution of Scientific Problems: Metatheory," chaired by Dr. Nicholas Kurti of Oxford University and Fellow of the Royal Society; "Application of Unisci Tools: Solutions of Key Problems," chaired by Dr. William V. Quine of Harvard University; and "Concrete Applications of Unified Science Solutions," chaired by Dr. Ervin Laszo of the Genesco College of the State University of New York. The meeting was successful both in the quality of presentations and as a building block for future conferences. ICUS published the proceedings in a volume entitled Moral Orientation of the Sciences and held the Second International Conference on Unified Science the following November, 1974 in Tokyo. Expanded guest lists and formats characterized the annual ICUS gatherings through the 1970s.

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