One of the biggest recent developments in the Jeffrey Epstein case since his death has been the embroilment of the MIT Media Lab, which received significant funding from the sex criminal for its research projects over the years. The news, which has been making headlines all week, was made all the more disturbing recently by the revelation that the world-renowned Media Lab had tried to conceal the extent of his financial involvement in their work even after he was listed as a “disqualified” donor.
In a further development—one which has brought 3D printing to the fore of the controversy—The Boston Globe revealed that Neri Oxman’s Mediated Matter Group received $125,000 in funding from Epstein after a meeting in 2015 and that the now dead sex trafficker was gifted a “grapefruit-sized 3D printed marble” made by the lab.
Following the resignation of Joi Ito, the director of the MIT Media Lab, in response to his cover up of Epstein’s donations, Oxman released an official statement about the news:
“In October 2015, Joi Ito, Director of the Media Lab, asked me to make a presentation about my group’s research to Jeffrey Epstein along with other members of the MIT faculty who also presented their work. As part of my job at the Media Lab, I give presentations to sponsors and potential donors typically several times a week. This was the first and only time I met Epstein. Joi assured me that Epstein was an approved donor who wished to devote his fortune to science and technology, in part to make amends for wrongs he had committed earlier in his life. Joi vouched for Epstein and his sincerity about his desire to do good. I took him at his word.
From Epstein’s gifts to the Media Lab, my group received $125,000 with MIT’s requirement that it be kept confidential so as to not enhance his reputation by association with MIT, and with the understanding that he would not be considered a sponsor of our group’s research or have any involvement in how the funds were spent.
I regret having received funds from Epstein, and deeply apologize to my students for their inadvertent involvement in this mess.”
Oxman and the Mediated Matter Lab have been behind some of the most interesting and boundary pushing 3D printing projects in recent years, including Aguahoja, Totem, glass 3D printing and more. Let’s hope that the research team can move forward with their groundbreaking work without any more corruption caused at a higher level.[Source: Dezeen]