Academics affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (#MIT) recently published an online statement at MITvalues.org, one that has received a lot of online signatures from various members of the MIT community. In the "About" section of the website, the statement says that it "was written by a small group of MIT faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers...who were concerned about the implications of recent events for the MIT community and the world." The "recent events" appear to have a lot to do with Donald Trump, his election victory, and his subsequent appointments. According to the "About" section of MITvalues.org, "the option to sign the statement became open to all MIT community members" on Wednesday, November 30th.
495 signatures as of Wednesday night
At the time of writing, the statement, of which the bullet points will be reviewed below, had 495 signatures from faculty, lecturers, and research scientists. The MIT community section had a further 500 signatures. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, is arguably the most famous name to sign online. However, several other Institute Professors that are not retired have also signed the statement. Those professors include Ron Rivest (a cryptographer), Millie Dresselhaus (carbon scientist), and Sallie Chisholm (marine evolution expert).
The main point of the statement seems to be to communicate concern over the actions of Donald Trump since he won the American presidential election in early November. The statement opens that "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."
Concerns reference Bannon, Ebell?
The concern over racism could be taken to be a reference to Steve Bannon, a Trump appointee that many think may be a white supremacist. For example, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has called him such.
The expressed concern in the statement over the climate change position could be taken as a reference to Myron Ebell's appointment to the transition team a couple weeks ago. Noam Chomsky previously called Ebell "a notorious (and proud) climate change denier" in a truth-out.org interview from November 14th. Donald Trump has yet to become president however his inauguration is scheduled for January 20th, 2017 provided that he wins the votes from the college electoral and survives an active recount. #DonaldTrump #NoamChomsky