Ralph Siu

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Ralph Gun Hoy Siu (1917 – 1998) was a distinguished American author, scholar, and military and civil servant. He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and died in Washington, D.C.[1]

Dr. Siu obtained his Bachelor's degree (1939) and Master's degree (1941) from the University of Hawaii, and Ph.D. degree (1943) in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He then entered the United States Army Quartermaster Corps and headed a team of researchers that developed new "jungle type" fabrics, clothing and equipment. As the Quartermaster Corps’ Director of Laboratories and Chief Scientific and Technical Director for more than a decade (1948–62), Dr. Siu spearheaded numerous critical projects, including pioneer efforts on irradiated food – a key component of President Eisenhower’s Atoms-For-Peace program.[2]

Around 1968, Dr. Siu was named civil servant of the year,[citation needed] and was thereafter appointed by President Johnson for directing the newly created National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.[3]

From 1957 to 1980, Dr. Siu produced several books, published by editors like MIT Press or John Wiley & Sons Inc. Most notable among them are The Tao of Science, and The Craft of Power.

In 1986, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology published an article by Ralph Siu entitled Panetics—The Study of the Infliction of Suffering.[4] Here is the abstract:

After analyzing the unceasing mutual inflictions of suffering by practically everyone and the neglect of this pervasive and degenerating human deficiency by the academic community, I urge the immediate creation of a new and vigorous academic discipline, called panetics, to be devoted to the study of the infliction of suffering. The nature, scope, illustrative contents, and social value are outlined. The dukkha is proposed as a semiquantitative unit of suffering to assist in associated analytical operations.

In 1991, the International Society for Panetics was founded by Ralph Siu and some sixty scientists, physicians, business leaders, scholars, artists and writers from several countries, among which such notable people as Kenneth Boulding or Johan Galtung.[5] The Society was dedicated to the study and development of ways to reduce the infliction of human suffering by individuals, corporations, governments, professions, social groups and other institutions. It issued a journal, Panetics, and it sponsored the annual Ralph G. H. Siu Memorial Lecture in Washington, D.C., featuring a prominent speaker on a subject of concern to Panetics. Past speakers have included Peter Caws, University Professor of Philosophy, Richard Shifter, former Assistant Secretary of State for Human rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and Joseph Rotblat, President of the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs and a winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace. The Society for Panetics has now closed its doors.[6]

In the words of Anthony Judge, who masterminded and was responsible for the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential, "Siu was an early pioneer in creating a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures", and "is an exemplar of lifelong dedication to complex issues having fundamental humanitarian implications."


  • THE QUANTUM AND THE TAO—A Unified East-West Psychophilosophical Synthesis toward Harmonious Living
  • I. Tao-Time Trilogy
    • Volume 1. The Tao of Science. An Essay on Western Knowledge and Eastern Wisdom. MIT Press, 1957.
    • Volume 2. The Man of Many Qualities. A Legacy of the I Ching. (Paperback: The Portable Dragon). MIT Press, 1968.
    • Volume 3. Ch i. A Neo-Taoist Approach to Life. MIT Press, 1974.
  • II. Management Trilogy
    • Volume 4. The Craft of Power. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1979.
    • Volume 5. Transcending the Power Game. The Way to Executive Serenity. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1980.
    • Volume 6. The Master Manager. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1980.
  • III. Panetics Trilogy
    • Volume 7. Less Suffering for Everybody. An Introduction to Panetics. The International Society for Panetics, 1994.
    • Volume 8. Panetics and Dukkha. An Integrated Study of the Infliction of Suffering and the Reduction of Infliction. The International Society for Panetics, 1994.
    • Volume 9. Seeds of Reflection. Word Clusters for Meditation on the Infliction and the Relief of Suffering. The International Society for Panetics, 1994.
  • IV. Harmony Trilogy
    • Volume 10. Unifying Theory of the Human Organism and Behavior, International Society for Panetics, 1999
    • Volume 11. Cheerfulness, International Society for Panetics, 1999
    • Volume 12. Shaping One s Own Life. A Socratic Anthology of Perennial Questions, International Society for Panetics, 1999
  • The Land of Keikitran and Eleevan by R. G. H. Siu, AZ, Hats Off Books, November 2001

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Ralph Siu, Developer of 'Panetics,' Dies at 80; Scientist Proposed Creating New Academic Field for Study of Human Suffering The Washington Post, December 31, 1998. Rosenfeld, Megan. Pain by the Numbers: Ralph Siu’s Science of Suffering Sizes Up the Agony of the Species. The Washington Post, 1994.
  2. ^ Quartermaster Hall of Fame
  3. ^ Ralph G. H. Siu has been also a Chairman of the US Army Research Council and a Chairman of the Members of the Academy for Contemporary Problems. See info at http://www.panetics.info/DisplayOneEvent.cfm?i=57. See also the following document at the U.S. Department of Justice, and make a search for Siu: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/199486.pdf.
  4. ^ Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 3, 6-22 (1988).
  5. ^ See the list of all ISP Founders, or the Panetics Board with members such as John N. Warfield. As an instance of the recognition of panetics ideas by some of the most highly qualified scholars, see the 1999 Siu Memorial Lecture entitled Panetics and the Practice of Peace and Development, given by Johan Galtung, then professor of peace studies at six universities around the world and president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
  6. ^ http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs005/1101387063296/archive/1109394217977.html