IDK, there are some interesting questions and points here. Epstein was convicted of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor. He served a year, 5 days a week he was out of jail and in his office. That's how serious the feds and the state of FL considered it at the time, that's what they had on him. If they don't consider it a big deal, then should MIT? I suppose the answer is probably yes, but there is some inherent contradiction there. He also served his parole with no further incidents.
Second, it's not like he was a mafia kingpin, or Bernie Maddoff, where his money was dirty, having come from illegal streams. There is no indication from anything that i've heard that his money came from anything illegal. So, if he wants to pour millions into a college, to do good, is that all bad? It should be rejected? Maybe he feels remorse? Is it better he spend his money on himself instead of some worthwhile causes getting some of it? Given the above and that new charges were not leveled until just now, the MIT Media Lab director had no way of knowing these new charges were coming. I suppose they could hire an investigator to vet him more, etc, but that seems unrealistic. I'm not saying it was a great idea, only that Epstein's money, which was clean, did go to some good use and maybe it's not as terrible as it sounds.
Looking down their list of current research projects there's some worthy stuff in there.
there's also a lot of stuff that's like a bad caricature of things left-wing nerds like to do with their spare time.
I mean, honestly.
They've been tossing money at that holo-projector project since 1989! 30 years!
"The University was great! We had money and facilities and we didn't have to produce anything!"
Not all universities are like that to be sure. but...some of them definitely are. I think the fact they had to accept $$$ on the down low from a child predator shows that many potential donors felt the same way. Like this is MIT, endowment of about a billion bucks, but the Media Lab couldn't get these occasional small-time five and six fig donations from nobody else?
Any publicly funded university that produces something, in competition with local businesses, gets slapped by the legislature. You're going to see basic research at the university, but NOT commercialization except at arms-length with some non-tax-exempt commercial investments at some site down the block.
Stanford is famous for opening small enterprises all over their lands, creating 'Silicon Valley'.
It surely did. The Computer History museum used to be in Boston prior to it moving to Mountain View.
There are still a smattering of large electronics/computer tech firm headquarters in the area but not like the "glory days" when everyone knew someone who worked for DEC or Wang and they employed 80,000 people or something between them. Analog Devices is one example
There were so many surplus DEC-logo three-ring binders floating around in the early 1990s we used them to organize Dungeons & Dragons paperwork (nerds!) they were free for the asking.
There are still many technology companies in the Route 128 area but it's more biotechnology/pharmaceutical/medical focused now like e.g. Genzyme.