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Twenty five years ago, in 1964, The Operational Research Society's first International Conference (held at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge) took as its theme "Operational Research and the Social Sciences". The Conference sessions were organised around topics such as: Organisations and Control; Social Effects of Policies; Conflict Resolution; The Systems Concept; Models, Decisions and Operational Research. An examination of the published proceedings (J.R.Lawrence ed., 1966, Operational Research and the Social Sciences, Tavistock, London) reveals a distinct contrast between the types of contribution made by the representatives of the two academic communities involved. Nevertheless, the Conference served to break down some barriers, largely of ignorance about the objects, methods and findings of each concern. In the ensuing twenty five years, although debate has continued about the relationship between OR and the social sciences, mutual understanding has proved more difficult to achieve than many must have hoped for in 1964.