Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was a Romanian American mathematician, statistician, and economist, best known for his 1971 magnum opus The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, which situated the view that the Second Law of Thermodynamics governs economic processes.  Essentially,  usable ‘free energy’ tends to disperse or become lost in the form of ‘bound energy’, and due to this dissipation of energy,an economy faces limits to growth.

Georgescu-Roegen's influence extends well beyond his well-known work on the thermodynamic foundations of economic systems. His career involved an ambitious attempt to reformulate economic process as 'bioeconomics’, a new style of dialectical economic thought. He is therefore considered one of the key intellectual progenitors of ecological economics and of what would become the minimal bioeconomic program.

In 1966, Georgescu-Roegen developed his initial ideas on a new biological or evolutionary approach to economic theory, claims which five years later were further developed and consolidated in The Entropy Law. Although generally ignored by mainstream economics, he was hailed by the fledgling environmental movement and, until the end of his life, never ceased to speak out on his ideas for a new approach to economic theory. Today, his work is gaining influence, and his insights are being grafted into the new field of evolutionary economics.

His protégés included foundational ecological economist Herman Daly and Kozo Mayumi, who further extended Georgescu-Roegen’s theories on entropy in the study of energy analysis.

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