research misconduct

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Fed Report Finds Research Misconduct By Harvard’s Hauser

Was Harvard’s Marc Hauser too invested in his own hypotheses?


The federal Office of Research Integrity has just posted its report on Marc Hauser, the charismatic Harvard professor whose stellar career blew up in scandal last summer when he was accused of fudging his data. The Globe continues its leading streak on this story with today’s report by Carolyn Johnson here, including this:

Marc Hauser, a prolific scientist and popular psychology professor who last summer resigned from Harvard University, had fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and described how experiments were conducted in factually incorrect ways, according to the findings of a federal research oversight agency posted online Wednesday.

The report provides the greatest insight yet into the problems that triggered a secretive three-year internal university investigation that concluded in 2010 that Hauser, a star professor and public intellectual, had committed eight instances of scientific misconduct. The document, which will be published in the Federal Register Thursday, found six cases in which Hauser engaged in research misconduct in work supported by the National Institutes of Health. One paper was retracted and two were corrected, and other problems were found in unpublished work.

Read the full Globe story here. And check out our past stories on Hauser, whose writing included fascinating work on whether morality is hard-wired. (One wonders: If it is, did he have a glitch in a circuit?) They include The Marc Hauser Files: Was It Confirmation Bias?, The Marc Hauser Counter-Offensive Begins and Monkey Business: Harvard Details Hauser’s Misconduct.

BU Cancer Researcher Fabricated Data, Feds Report

We totally missed this story yesterday of former Boston University School of Medicine assistant professor and cancer researcher, Sheng Wang, who federal authorities say fabricated data published in two scientific journals. The news was first reported on the website Retraction Watch here.

The case is detailed on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity:

Sheng Wang, PhD, Boston University School of Medicine Cancer Research Center: Based on the Respondent’s acceptance of ORI’s research misconduct findings, ORI found that Dr. Sheng Wang, who has been an Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine Cancer Research Center (BUSM), engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants R01 CA102940 and R01 CA101992.

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