Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More on Scientific Fraud

From Today's New Scientist:

HARVARD University has confirmed that it has found evidence of misconduct by Marc Hauser, one of the leading lights in the field of animal cognition.

In a letter to Harvard researchers on 20 August, dean of arts and sciences Michael Smith said that Hauser was “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct. Three were in papers already identified as targets for a three-year probe by the university. The other five were in studies corrected before being published or which did not lead to papers.

The letter says that “there were problems involving data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of research methodologies and results”. Harvard says it has moved to “impose appropriate sanctions”, but does not say what they are.

Following Harvard's announcement, Hauser also commented for the first time. “I am deeply sorry for the problems this case has caused to my students, my colleagues, and my university,” he wrote, in a statement emailed to New Scientist.

Federal agencies that provided grants for Hauser's work and the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts are still investigating.

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