Like so many others, we are struggling to come to terms with the recent news and media coverage regarding the MIT Media Lab, which contains accounts of activities that were previously unknown to us and are deeply antithetical to the mission and ethos of the MIT Press.
On September 7, the MIT Press accepted Joi Ito’s resignation from our management board, which he joined in 2015. While we have collaborated extensively, over many years, with individuals at the Media Lab including Ito on books and other publishing projects, the MIT Press and constituent projects have never, to the best of our knowledge, taken or been supported by any funds from or directed by Epstein or his foundations.
Our work has always been guided by values of transparency, inclusion, and equity, which makes recent developments all the more disturbing. While Epstein’s victims are foremost in our minds, we are aware that this episode has also raised important questions that get at the heart of how power and privilege shape all of our institutions, research universities being no exception. We stand ready to challenge the status quo, as the MIT Press has always done, and to be part of the solution. We invite your participation. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or thoughts you’d like to share with us.