You already responded to a comment about that article, so you owe it to others, if not yourself, to actually read it.
I would be interested in what made the Media Lab guy do it.
I suppose many people are confronted with an opportunity for "unethical gains" some time in their lives. Maybe the Media Lab guy simply weighted things in his mind and thought it was worth it, to keep the research going, finance his researchers, or whatever.
I would be interested if it would be wrong in all cases. Like maybe (hopefully) Bill Gates is clean, and via shady Epstein MIT could get clean Gates money. OK or not OK?
Not okay. Why? To answer, we have to admit that "clean" is a word which carries an unhelpful metaphor here: bacterial contamination.
The problem isn't that the money is in some way contaminated. The problem is that the flow of money establishes a relationship with two effects:
1) Someone who owes or regularly gives you money can influence your decisions.
2) Having someone associate with you gives them social status, especially as a donor to a beneficial institution.
The metaphor for which people should reach for should be drawn from something like the song Molasses to Rum from the musical 1776: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeuaTpH6Ck0
So getting money from Gates via Epstein would still be bad because Epstein has the power to stop that flow of money. Gettin money from Epstein via a federal court order would not be bad because Epstein doesn't have the power to stop that.
> I would be interested in what made the Media Lab guy do it.
I too would be interested in what made led him to do so. Because in order to receive donations, an organization like the media lab generally needs to be able to lean on its brand and its ability to invite companies to sponsor them. So we'll likely see that taking that money was long-term harmful financially to the Media Lab.