Dr. Babak Babakinejad
Babak Babakinejad Ph.D. is the MIT whistleblower who, in his capacity as an MIT Research Scientist and Research Lead at the MIT Media Lab, brought attention to public safety concerns and the lack of scientific integrity in MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative and its Food Computer Project. MIT promoted the Food Computers as cutting-edge agricultural technology platforms capable of carefully controlling the environment and using artificial intelligence to potentially solve the world food crisis. MIT used the Initiative to raise funding from wealthy donors, big corporations, the US government, and others. The MIT-Epstein report confirms that the project was specifically used to seek funding from the late Jeffrey Epstein as part of MIT’s interaction with the sex offender the university kept under wraps.
Dr. Babakinejad’s warnings about risk and compliance relating to academic integrity, environmental harm, and fraudulent fundraising were ignored by MIT. Instead of addressing the concerns, MIT retaliated against him and continued to support the fraudulent Food Computer, which was used to target school children and vulnerable populations for fundraising.
It was only after Dr. Babakinejads’ public whistleblowing through media outlets like The New York Times, and ProPublica, that MIT shut down the project. Dr. Babakinejad’s efforts also led to the retraction of a publication by the journal PLOS One, which was widely promoted by the university through MIT’s powerful media outlets and elsewhere. Nevertheless, MIT continued to deny wrongdoing.
While Dr. Babakinejad’s efforts led to the closure of an underground injection control well for toxic chemical dumping, the potential impact of MIT’s discharges on local residents is still unclear. Despite Dr. Babakinejad’s evidence to the contrary, MIT denied discharging toxic fertilizers into the well and paid only a small fine for the illegal discharge of cleaning solutions. It has faced no criminal charges.
Dr. Babakinejad is currently pursuing a lawsuit against MIT, seeking justice and accountability for the issues he brought to the forefront.