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The Background and History of SDPS: A Brief Glimpse of Its Past, Present, and Future


Twenty-five years after the first conference of the Society for Design and Process Science, held in the emerging tech center of Austin Texas, its history remains a matter of lore, dwelling in the imagination of today’s young volunteers and in the brief glimpses of members and participants, who only see fragments of the unique trail of events that led to this moment. Professional societies hold an important place in the history of science and engineering. They serve as the “watering holes” where professionals from the same discipline may gather and discuss the vagaries of their body of knowledge, while sharing important discoveries with their colleagues. In the traditions of SDPS, all disciplines are welcome—to not only share their work and research methods but also to join others in examining the very nature of knowledge itself and to seek ways to integrate it across disciplinary boundaries. With this brief history, we can only present a cursory tale of the incredible circumstances that led to what was once called, “The Society of the Future.” We welcome readers of this, our 25th anniversary of the Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science. It was a long and almost unbelievable journey, but through it all, it would appear the Future has at last arrived.