Massachusetts Institute of Technology offered this week a $250,000 reward to those who can go against the status quo. The university’s media lab will offer the prize to anyone who they believe can provide “an extraordinary example of disobedience for the benefit of society,” according to the department’s website.
MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito said that the award is not in response to today’s presidency, as it was devised last July. The contest description states, “These principles include non-violence, creativity, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s actions. This disobedience is not limited to specific disciplines; examples include scientific research, civil rights, freedom of speech, human rights, and the freedom to innovate.”
MIT senior Evan Crane is not surprised by the MIT contest. “It’s very MIT,” he said. “MIT is always trying to be a little different.”
Tamar Grey, a sophomore at MIT, said the contest is typical of MIT and its culture.
“It definitely fits with MIT’s ‘hacking’ culture of pulling pranks and exploring the school’s underbelly,” she told Red Alert Politics.
However, she doesn’t plan to enter the contest. “Nah, I’m not much of a rule-breaker,” she said.
The deadline for submissions is May 1st. The winner will be announced on July 21st.