Sometime ago, when writing about Stafford Beer, I wrote:
Stafford Beer was one of the founding people in British operational research. He was one of the people who saw operational research in World War II and adapted those methods to work in practice, in his case at United Steel, followed by some consulting companies. He ended up founding many aspects of systems science and “cybernetics” (a term I rarely hear these days).
Turns out I was right about “cybernetics”. PhD Comics (a must read for both doctoral students and those who supervise them, live with them, parent them, or otherwise have to interact with them) has a nice graph that shows how often “cybernetic” shows up in academic paper titles (upper right, with “robot”):
Cybernetics didn’t have much of a heyday, and that was long ago. I wonder what other operations research words have come and gone. Anyone up for some hours with ISI Web of Knowledge?