HYPE?: Dr. Robert Langer, 64, knows how. Since the 1980s, his Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has spun out companies whose products treat cancer, diabetes, heart disease and schizophrenia, among other diseases, and even thicken hair. Polaris Venture Partners, a Boston venture capital firm, has invested $220 million in 18 Langer Lab-inspired businesses. Combined, these businesses have improved the health of many millions of people, says Terry McGuire, co-founder of Polaris.

Today’s NY Times offer a press release that extolls Bob Langer.  Shameless.

I have nothing against university faculty doing practical work … if anything I am proud when my own university does work that leads to product beyond “just” students or “just ” ideas. On the other hand, academe has had an important advantage over business … we are largely free of the sort of hyperbole the venture capital world uses to build a case for an IPO … a public offering the enriches the initial investors.  Put another way, this article about Professor Langer is the kind of self promotion business needs … no specifics, statements written by the PR people of his corporate partners …….hardly anything that would make me respect MIT or make me want to send a student there.

Why does the NYT accept this sort of thing?


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