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The American Synthetic Rubber Research Program

The American Synthetic Rubber Research Program

Peter J. T. Morris. Foreword by Arnold Thackray

204 pages | 6 x 9 | 2 illus.
Cloth 1989 | ISBN 9780812282054 | $79.95s | Outside the Americas £64.00
Ebook 2017 | ISBN 9781512818161 | Buy from Combined Academic Publishers £64.00
An Anniversary Collection volume

"This is an absorbing, exciting book. It describes in vivid detail the triumphs, the struggles, and the realities of research. Morris provides an acute, perceptive analysis of the political and social forces shaping the process of innovation."—James D'lanni, past President of the American Chemical Society

"This is a major book on a major theme. With exemplary scholarship. Morris probes the complex interactions of academe, government, and industry, and the interplay of science and technology in the creation of a vital modern resource. The story is one full of messages for our contemporary world of high technology."—William 0. Baker, Chairman Emeritus of AT&T Bell Laboratories

This history of the government-funded synthetic rubber research program (1942-1956) offers a rare analysis of a cooperative research program geared to the improvement of existing products and the creation of new ones. The founders of the program believed the best way to further research in the new field was through collaboration among corporations, universities, and the federal government. Morris concludes that, in fact, the effort was ultimately a failure and that vigorous competition proves the best way to stimulate innovation. Government programs, like the rubber research program, are far better at improving existing products, the author contends, than creating wholly new ones.

Peter J. T. Morris is Keeper of Research Projects at the Science Museum, London, and an Honorary Research Associate in the Science and Technology Studies Department at University College in London. He is the recipient of the Edelstein Award in the History of Chemistry.

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