Jeffrey Epstein scandal raises questions over who should fund science

Sex offender Jeffrey Epstein donated huge sums of money to the MIT Media Lab. Is it time we had better ways to decide who can fund science?


18 September 2019

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MIT’s Media Lab combines research from technology, media, science and art

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THE revelation that financier Jeffrey Epstein was funding high-profile scientific research even after he had been convicted of sex offences has rekindled a debate about who funds science. How do we decide what sorts of donation are ethical, and to what extent does it matter where research funds come from?

The scandal over Epstein’s science funding came to a head on 7 September, a month after Epstein died by suicide. It was then that Joichi Ito, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, resigned. He …