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LETTERS

Justice Alito, the city of Cambridge welcomes you

Justice Samuel Alito, center, with President Trump and others in the Oval Office on July 23, 2019.
Justice Samuel Alito, center, with President Trump and others in the Oval Office on July 23, 2019.Doug Mills/NYT

Re “Alito demonstrates dim view of region: In speech, he rips N.E. senators and mocks Cambridge” (Metro, Nov. 15): In a recent speech to the Federalist Society, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito fired a shot across the bow of Cambridge. Unfortunately, his aim was less than true.

Alito said, “I’m all in favor of preventing dangerous things from issuing out of Cambridge and infecting the rest of the country and the world,” and added, “It would be good if what originates in Cambridge stayed in Cambridge.”

I wonder what the good justice had in mind. Perhaps it was the spreadsheet. Or radar. Or the World Wide Web. Or oil refining. Or neuroimaging. Or cybernetics. Or advanced medical treatments for cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases. Or a coronavirus vaccine. Or dozens of other world-changing inventions, discoveries, or developments that have emerged from the laboratories of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the hundreds of companies that surround it.

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I hope Alito’s colleagues will help him along when the next science-related case comes before the Supreme Court. It seems as though he may need it.

In the meantime, he is always welcome to visit MIT. It’s just past the Mass. Ave. bridge, on the Cambridge side.

Richard Lester

Brookline

The writer is associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.