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MIT Suspends Professor Over Harassment Findings

August 23, 2021

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed biologist David Sabatini on indefinite leave last week and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute fired him for violating HHMI’s sexual harassment and workplace conduct policies. Sabatini also resigned from the Whitehead Institute at MIT. In a memo to faculty members, MIT said that an inquiry into Sabatini’s behavior “raises very serious concerns.” Sabatini did not respond to a request for comment from Science, but his brother, neuroscientist Bernardo Sabatini, deleted his own Twitter account after he was criticized for minimizing harassment in science in defending his brother online. “Sexual harassment is a very general term and does not automatically mean that particular person was targeted by a specific other person,” Bernardo Sabatini wrote regarding his brother before deleting the account. “The track record of success of people who went through this lab is extraordinary.”

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