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MIT Panel Urges Off-Campus Sites for Classified Research

Photonics.com
Jun 2002
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 14 -- A faculty committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recommended Wednesday that the university provide off-campus facilities to help faculty perform classified public service or research involving the nation's security that requires classification.

The committee also strongly reiterated MIT's long-standing policy of intellectual openness on the campus.

"We recommend that no classified research should be carried out on campus; that no student, graduate or undergraduate, should be required to have a security clearance to perform thesis research; and that no thesis research should be carried out in [intellectual] areas requiring access to classified materials," the report said.

In the case of extraordinary national events such as "the need for forensic analysis of biological materials," the committee recommended that MIT allow its campus facilities and expertise to be used for a short-term response to national emergencies. The panel supported current MIT policy that does not accept prior review of its on-campus research for possible disclosure of "sensitive information" and said restrictions on handling select agents may cause MIT to withdraw from affected areas of research.



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