The Society for the Prevention of Progress

Marine biologist Joel Hedgpeth founded the Society for the Prevention of Progress in 1945. He was its sole member. According to his obituary in the Journal of Crustacean Biology: "Many a grad student and junior colleague wanted to join this august club, but Joel refused applications—growth in members would represent progress."

However, there were exceptions to his no-membership policy. For instance, Hedgpeth wrote to C.S. Lewis inviting him to become a member.

The initial inspiration for the Society seems to have been to protect the environment against the "encroachment of material civilization." The Society's statement of purpose (below), as well as the Society letter-head Hedgpeth had printed up, reflected this intent.

However, Hedgpeth evidently also intended his Society to embrace a much broader spirit of contrarianism, as seen in the manifesto outlined in the article below.

Decatur Herald - Feb 15, 1945

     Posted By: Alex - Tue May 31, 2022
     Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations

This Society had a convention planned with the National Procrastinators Association – repeatedly. But they never could manage to actually hold it.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 06/03/22 at 12:03 PM
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