The Observer NewsLetter
The Observer is a newsletter / journal made available over the Internet. It was established as a result of an August 1992 discussion at the Dublin City University conference on 'Autopoiesis and Perception'. Francisco Varela (one of autopoietic theory's co-creators) was asked (1) if there was or had been a forum dedicated to autopoietic theory and (2) whether such a forum would be constructive for international researchers interested in this work. Varela indicated there had never been such a forum, and he approved of the idea to set one up. Randall Whitaker (then at Umeå Universitet in Sweden) volunteered to establish and manage The Observer as an email periodical. The inaugural issue was broadcast to 28 subscribers in February 1993. In two years, the subscriber population had grown to 15 times its initial size.
Effective with issue #13 (May 1997), The Observer is shifting to the World Wide Web as its primary venue. This move is in accordance with subscribers' views in response to an autumn 1996 survey.