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Letter regarding community engagement on the Swartz report

The following email was sent today to the Institute community by MIT Provost Chris Kaiser and Faculty Chair Steven Hall.

To the Members of the MIT Community,

We write briefly to let you know about steps we are taking in our effort to lead community engagement in questions posed by the authors of “MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz,” a report to President Reif shared publicly on July 30.

Upon the release of the report, whose independent undertaking was led by Professors Hal Abelson and Peter Diamond, President Reif asked us to create a process that will allow MIT community members to engage with the report and the questions it raises. President Reif believes, as we do, that informed discussion will allow us to determine how MIT can best respond to the report’s findings—as well as to think carefully about broad issues around open access, intellectual property, and ethics in the digital doman.

In the coming weeks, we will announce details around in-person gatherings we will convene.

With this email, we announce the establishment of a website that will allow all of you—faculty, students, alumni, staff, and Corporation Members—to offer your thoughts on the eight questions the report’s authors believe the MIT community should consider. We encourage you to take a moment to look over the questions and to join the conversation.

It is our hope that this site will be useful for our in-person meetings: the thoughts you offer online will inform and enrich a dialog that should prove highly valuable to the Institute.


Chris Kaiser, Provost

Steven Hall, Chair of the Faculty

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