On March 4, 1969, there was an extraordinary mass meeting of MIT faculty, students and staff to protest MIT's complicity in the Vietnam War. This was considered a "positive protest" and included plans for positive action. Included in the storied panel of speakers were Noam Chomsky, Lionel Trilling and Nobel Laureate George Wald. Wald's speech "A Generation in Search of a Future" became known world-wide. In addition, the day marks the founding of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
March 4th, 1969 and the activities and protests leading up to that date also represent a turning point in the mission of T&C. Up until that point, it was a private seminar for faculty and research scientists, providing a space to discuss the implications of their research. During the Vietnam protests, the then-Episcopal Chaplain and Coordinator of T&C, The Rev. John Crocker, was an active participant and mediator in the many meetings and discussions between the MIT administration, faculty, and student body throughout that time.
Because of these powerful experiences in community building, education and awareness, Rev. Crocker made the decision to move T&C into the public arena, hosting programs that included all of the MIT community and our neighbors. Programming became broader but continued to focus on the ethical implications of science and technology and the critical issues of the day. We are incredibly proud to continue that legacy today.
Please join us on Monday, March 4th at 5:30pm in the Bartos Theater to learn about this powerful moment in MIT history and to explore ways we can encourage MIT to truly work towards a more just, equitable and sustainable future.