Uncaging Animal Spirits
Chemical engineering has been one of the major high-tech growth industries of the post-World War II period, and one of the few in which U.S. companies have retained an international advantage over their competitors. As an engineer and entrepreneur, Ralph Landau played a large role in this success story.Uncaging Animal Spirits collects all of Landau's major papers from the last thirty years, covering his scientific discoveries, his views on innovation and entrepreneurship, his reflections on his own field of chemical engineering, and his research on the global marketplace, and on the relation of technology, innovation, and the economy. The emphasis throughout is on Landau's view of the status of entrepreneurship in the United States, as tempered by his experience in an international business and his many attempts to get the federal government to think seriously about its role in creating a reasonable playing field for entrepreneurs.As Landau developed his business, he became increasingly concerned about the extent to which government officials misunderstood (or didn't care about) the needs of technology-based industries and the relationship between technology and economic growth. When he sold his company in the early 1980s, Landau took on the task of educating himself in economic theory and educating economists, policy makers, and the government about this crucial relationship. He has established centers at Stanford and Harvard to focus attention on issues of technology and the economy.
About the Author
Ralph Landau was the founder of Scientific Design Company, Inc., and received more than 50 honors and awards in his lifetime, including the National Medal of Technology, the Founders Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemical Industry Medal, and the Perkin Medal.