Taking Epstein’s money suggested a willingness to turn a blind eye to the impact of his crimes, which included procuring the prostitution of a minor. The fact that this situation was even thinkable at MIT is profoundly disturbing and is symptomatic of broader, more structural problems involving gender and race in MIT’s culture. It is time for fundamental change.
I’m heartbroken that the senior team apparently spent more time discussing concerns about Epstein’s reputation than about MIT’s when they took the drastic step of accepting money from a disqualified donor.
Both MIT Environmental Health and Safety and MIT’s legal department were made aware of the environmental and academic allegations by Dr. Babakinejad. These serious issues were not properly addressed by MIT, and instead, Dr. Babakinejad faced retaliation for raising these concerns.
The current climate and ecological crisis calls for nothing short of rebellion. The least I can do is to take a stand against those stealing my future, our future, and the future of humanity.
We must be concerned with the impression made on our students in condemning one donor for personal crimes and entirely overlooking the destructive transgressions of another, especially when the latter involves disinformation and attacks on science — the very antithesis of MIT’s mission as an educational institution.
The current culture has reduced the importance of academic integrity and personal ethics in favor of rankings, volume of research papers, and fame. We need to return to that guiding light of what led us all here to come to MIT to the first place.
The Reif-Epstein matter will remain swirled in controversy and conjecture until MIT makes a transparent release of all emails, documents, and minutes related to Epstein.
The “One-MIT” ceremony would be followed by school- or department-specific ceremonies on Friday afternoon, during which the actual degrees would be conferred.
I am calling for the immediate resignation of MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito because of his deep connections with Epstein, his lack of leadership explaining his involvement, and the lack of transparency about the extent of his interactions with Epstein.
The MIT community should think critically about Facebook’s hypocrisies and misdeeds, even as we heed Sandberg’s imperative to “do all the good we can, knowing that what we build will be used by people — and people are capable of great beauty and great cruelty.”
Without transparent and open applications for joining the working groups, and without the full release of working group recommendations, each of us is less able to evaluate and define the best actions we should take to improve the MIT community.
The world is moving towards drastic revolution on multiple fronts, and numerous shifting paradigms of the world hinge on China’s encroachment on global territories. The Uyghur people may be suffering far away from us, but what happens in China very blatantly does not stay in China.