Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Over 300 400 members of the MIT faculty, including myself, have signed the statement below. (You can see all the signers on the page.) My quote included in a press release issued this afternoon was:

"Academic institutions have historically been havens to protect diversity of opinions and the freedom to express those opinions when the political climate has impinged on this freedom. It appears that we are entering a period where the political climate requires us to assert our leadership to protect and foster diversity and scientific inquiry itself."

The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who have endorsed racism, misogyny and religious bigotry, and denied the widespread scientific consensus on climate change. Regardless of our political views, these endorsements violate principles at the core of MIT's mission. At this time, it is important to reaffirm the values we hold in common.

We, the undersigned faculty at MIT, thus affirm the following principles:

  • We unconditionally reject every form of bigotry, discrimination, hateful rhetoric, and hateful action, whether directed towards one's race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, disability, citizenship, political views, socioeconomic status, veteran status, or immigration status.

  • We endorse MIT's values of open, respectful discourse and exchange of ideas from the widest variety of intellectual, religious, class, cultural, and political perspectives.

  • We uphold the principles of the scientific method, of fact- and reason-based objective inquiry. Science is not a special interest; it is not optional. Science is a foundational ingredient in how we as a society analyze, understand, and solve the most difficult challenges that we face.

For any member of our community who may feel fear or oppression, our doors are open and we are ready to help. We pledge to work with all members of the community - students, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and administrators - to defend these principles today and in the times ahead.


When I read the first sentence, I thought that you were planning to take a stand against "safe spaces", no-platforming, and other related ways of shutting down legitimate debate on university campuses. Are those who signed this press release also opposed to those sorts of restrictions on freedom of expression and diversity of opinion?

Dear Joi san

Thank you so much for everything.
Thank you so much for everyone.
I had a great times a few month.
Now,I am wishing I want to go to America and I want to study at MIT media lab.

I am really hoping for that.

I want to speak whth you.

Could you return e-mail me?

I really appreciate it.

From Yumi Ohashi

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