Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

This month, Ronan Farrow published an excellent piece on The New Yorker’s site, describing how Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted financial contributions from Jeffrey Epstein after it was clear they shouldn’t have been associating with him. Some people’s immediate reaction may be to ask, “What’s the problem?  They need the money, and this doesn’t mean they were abetting his crimes.” There is a problem, though, especially when it isn’t just sincere generosity.  Some charities receive small donations from average people with no implied quid pro quo agreement, and those charities might innocently stay ignorant of donors’ backgrounds with no problems.  However, when the … Continue reading Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

Violin History

You don’t want to admit you’re interested in this topic, but you know you love it. This morning I was listening to the WRTI stream when the station aired a short interview with Nicholas Makris, a professor at MIT. Now, before you start thinking there’s nothing in this story for low-brow sensibilities, please click the link below.  The name for the air vents on a contemporary violin is guaranteed to get a room full of teenaged boys laughing hysterically. Please don’t judge the blogger.  I struggle to find topics which allow me to post an average of one item per … Continue reading Violin History