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Innocents Abroad? Liberal Educators in Illiberal Societies

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 29.2 (Summer 2015)

June 15, 2015

CREDIT: Shutterstock

By Jim Sleeper

It might seem an American Dream come true: About 100 Massachusetts Institute of Technology professors, ten at a time, are managing five laboratories stocked with "totally state-of-the-art equipment" in a gleaming new tower on the National University of Singapore campus. As The New York Times reports, the campus houses the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology and other projects, involving "world-class universities from Britain, China, France, Germany, Israel, and Switzerland." The MIT professors and their forty Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers are designing "myriad innovations": driverless cars that would respond to "killer app" sensors throughout Singapore; stingray-like robots that will collect ocean-bottom data to fight noxious algae; and technologies that will track infectious diseases, energy consumption, and other movements in this tightly run, wealthy city-state of 5.4 million people.

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Also, don't miss this interview with Jim Sleeper.