Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Visit to the Roger Babson Anti-Gravity monument at Tufts

In the early 20th century lived an eccentric businessman named Roger Babson. He was a sort of Donald Trump of his time, writing books, founding a college, and running for president. Instead of hating Muslims and Mexicans, what Babson really hated was gravity, and declared it to be mankind's foremost enemy. 

He founded an organization devoted to defeating gravity's grip on humanity, part of which involved organizing the yearly Gravity Research Foundation essay contest, which has been won by the likes of Stephen Hawking and entered by the likes of me. He left a series of monuments around New England dedicated to his crusade. The closest one to me is at Tufts (yes, Tufts), and I visited it this evening. There used to be a yearly tradition of digging up the monument and carrying it to see if gravity had been defeated yet, but that was discontinued.

I plan to write a longer article about this history of his contest and his foundation, and for now you can find other articles about it online. I wrote an article about the history of the contest on PhysicsForums!

The text of the monument reads:
"This monument has been erected by the Gravity Research Foundation, Roger W. Babson founder. It is to remind students of the blessings forthcoming when a semi-insulator is discovered in order to harness gravity as a free power and reduce airplane accidents. 1961"

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