Quick hits — Is MIT as compromised as other right-wing-funded colleges and universities?

This is a quick hit, something I found while researching something else.

I’ve been wondering for a while how compromised, how corrupted American colleges and universities are by the injection of corporate money into high-dollar education budgets.

For example, many have noted the special terms around the endowment of a chair at FSU by the Koch Bros (they get to pick the professors), and in that context I wrote this:

[I]t’s not just Florida State’s economics department they’ve bought. The Koch Brothers own a lot of university econ departments. From those departments come economists, and among those economists are political appointees.

So, let’s start with universities owned by the Koch Brothers. [Joan] McCarter points us to this story from ThinkProgress about the Koch Brothers take-over of universities[.]

That ThinkProgress article quoted at the link lists these Koch-corrupted institutions:

    Florida State University
    George Mason University (Mercatus Center)
    Clemson University
    West Virginia University
    Brown University
    Troy University
    Utah State University
    and dozens of others

Et tu, MIT? In researching a different article, I found this snippet:

And so the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change is over for another year. While we lament this loss, let us pause for a short moment on a concluding statement by one of its star speakers.

Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT‘s department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences, told his attendant fans (watch the video above) that he believes climate sceptics, such as himself, should “stop accepting the term ‘sceptic'”.

His reasoning? Because it affords too much legitimacy to the implausible theory of global warming[.]

The Heartland Institute is a big-money funder of global warming denialism (as we’ll learn later, they have an $8 million denialist “daddy” in their pocket). Dr. Lindzen is one of their “star speakers.” Note in the third paragraph what he says.

Now look at who he is — the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT, specifically the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. (Yes, that does say “sciences.”)

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has mainstream cred, purchased in part from PBS — you hear that name all the time in the credits to PBS prime-time shows.

(If you didnt’know, that’s what PBS is to guys like the Koch Foundation, a place to rinse clean in the blood of faux-neutrality. And PBS charges appropriately for that service — something to consider during those endless “it’s the viewers that we really love” pledge breaks.)

MIT also has mainstream cred. Is global-warming denialism rinsing its hands there too? Or is the situation at MIT even worse? After all, the Alfred P. Sloan chair at MIT is acting like a paid operative of climate denialism, with the university laundering his Sloan-funded denialist paycheck.

Think he has that chair by accident? Or does MIT charge appropriately for this service as well? (Last I heard, amenities like, say, Grecian marble chess clubs don’t build themselves these days.)

As I said above — Et tu, MIT? The jury’s not yet in, but in my book you just went from “known good” to prove it, along with your now-co-equal, the estimable Florida State. Nice move.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

Share This Post

© 2021 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS