Edward de Bono: May 19, 1933–June 9, 2021

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Robert A. C. Stewart
Sarah L. Krivan
Cite this article:  Stewart, R., & Krivan, S. (2021). Edward de Bono: May 19, 1933–June 9, 2021. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 49(8), e10946.


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We note, with sadness, the passing of Dr Edward de Bono, pioneering researcher in the field of creative thinking and longtime member of the Board of Consulting Editors of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal.

We note, with sadness, the passing of Dr Edward de Bono, pioneering researcher in the field of creative thinking and longtime member of the Board of Consulting Editors of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal.

After qualifying as a doctor at the Royal University of Malta, Dr de Bono transferred to Christ Church, Oxford, as a Rhodes scholar to study for a Master’s in Psychology and Physiology (1957), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine (1961). Following graduation he lectured at Oxford and Cambridge, was a Research Associate at Harvard Medical School, and acted as an honorary registrar at the St Thomas Hospital Medical School within the University of London. In 1980 he set up his School of Thinking in New York.

Among the several dozen books Dr de Bono authored are The Use of Lateral Thinking (1967), in which he coined the term lateral thinking, defined as employing unconventional approaches to problem solving, and Six Thinking Hats (1985), which is a decision-making method aimed at enhancing team communication, whereby every participant in a meeting dons a series of imaginary hats that represent a new approach to examining the problem. He also held numerous seminars and training courses, and made two television series: De Bono’s Thinking Course for the BBC, UK, and The Greatest Thinkers for WDR, Germany.

His research interests spanned a variety of subjects within the fields of thinking and communication, and he was also keenly interested in children’s education, arguing for the need to teach children to think creatively rather than simply testing them on facts learned by rote.

Dr Robert (Bob) Stewart, Editor-in-Chief of Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal (SBP Journal), first met Dr de Bono in January 1982, at a Conference on Thinking at the University of the South Pacific, which Bob had helped to organize. Dr de Bono’s paper was on the Cognitive Research Trust program for teaching thinking in schools, which he originated, and which has been used in a number of parts of the world. He and Bob subsequently maintained a correspondence, and Dr de Bono later accepted the invitation to join the Board of Consulting Editors of SBP Journal.

Outside of work, Dr de Bono played polo and cricket, and set two canoeing records, one for paddling 112 miles from Oxford to London nonstop. He received Malta’s National Order of Merit in 1995, and in 2005 reached the shortlist for the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on business and commerce. Asteroid 2541 Edebono, discovered by Luboš Kohouteck, is named after Dr de Bono.

Most mornings Dr de Bono rose before 6 a.m. to type his latest thoughts. So frequently was he heard bashing the keys that his son, Charles, when asked at the age of 10 what his father did, replied, “He’s a typist.”

He is survived by his sons, Caspar and Charles.

References

de Bono, E. (1967). The use of lateral thinking. Jonathan Cape.

de Bono, E. (1985). Six thinking hats: An essential approach to business management. Little, Brown, & Company.

de Bono, E. (1967). The use of lateral thinking. Jonathan Cape.

de Bono, E. (1985). Six thinking hats: An essential approach to business management. Little, Brown, & Company.

Robert A. C. Stewart, Editor-in-Chief, Scientific Journal Publishers Ltd., Palmerston North, New Zealand. Email: [email protected]

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