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Harvard psychology professor ‘faked data and fudged results in monkey experiments’

  • Marc Hauser, 52, researched evolutionary  roots of human abilities
  • Probe by Office of Research Integrity found  Hauser responsible for six cases of scientific misconduct
  • Allegedly fabricated data in a paper on  monkeys’ ability to learn syllables
  • Currently works with at-risk youth at Cape  Cod Collaborative

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:17:26 EST, 5  September 2012| UPDATED:17:48 EST, 5 September 2012

 

Fall from grace: A federal probe found former Harvard psychology professor Marc Hauser to be responsible for six cases of research misconduct Fall from grace: A federal probe found former Harvard  psychology professor Marc Hauser to be responsible for six cases of research  misconduct

Federal investigators have found that a  Harvard University psychology professor who resigned after being accused of  scientific transgression fabricated data and manipulated results in  experiments.

The findings detailing Marc Hauser’s  transgressions were contained in a report by the Department of Health and Human  Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI) released Wednesday  online.

Hauser, 52, left Harvard last summer, ten  months after a faculty investigation found him ‘solely responsible’ for eight  instances of scientific misconduct at the prestigious Ivy League school, the Boston  Globe reported.

The federal document found six cases in which  Hauser engaged in research misconduct in work supported by four National  Institutes of Health grants. One paper was retracted and two were corrected.  Other problems were found in unpublished work.

Hauser released a statement Wednesday, saying  that although he has fundamental differences with the findings, he acknowledges  that he made mistakes.

‘I let important details get away from my  control, and as head of the lab, I take responsibility for all errors made  within the lab, whether or not I was directly involved,’ he stated.

‘I am saddened that this investigation has  caused some to question all of my work, rather than the few papers and  unpublished studies in question.

‘I remain proud of the many important papers  generated by myself, my collaborators and my students over the years. I am also  deeply gratified to see my students carve out significant areas of research at  major universities around the world,’ Hauser said.

Internal probe: A three-year investigation at Harvard found in 2010 that Hauser had committed eight instances of scientific misconductInternal probe: A three-year investigation at Harvard  found in 2010 that Hauser had committed eight instances of scientific  misconduct

In one instance, investigators determined  that Hauser fabricated half the data in a bar graph in a research paper on  cotton-top tamarind monkeys’ ability to learn syllables that was published in  2002 in the journal Cognition.

According to the findings of the probe, the  52-year-old professor ‘falsified the coding’ of some monkeys’ responses to sound  stimuli in two unpublished papers to ensure that a particular finding does not  appear random, and ‘falsely reported the results and methodology’ for one of  seven experiments in a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B in  2007.

A paper examining monkeys’ abilities to learn  grammatical patterns included false descriptions of how the monkeys’ behavior  was coded, ‘leading to a false proportion or number of animals showing a  favorable response,’ the report stated.

The document, which will be published in the  Federal Register Thursday, comes on the heels of a three-year internal  investigation at Harvard that found in 2010 that the popular professor had  committed eight instances of scientific misconduct.

According to the report, Hauser ‘neither  admits nor denies committing research misconduct but accepts ORI has found  evidence of research misconduct.’ As part of a voluntary settlement, the former  professor has accepted several professional restrictions for the next three  years.

New job: Hauser currently works with at-risk youth at the Alternative Education Program at Cape Cod CollaborativeNew job: Hauser currently works with at-risk youth at  the Alternative Education Program at Cape Cod Collaborative

Hauser has agreed to have any research  supported by the U.S. Public Health Service supervised, to exclude himself from  serving as an adviser to the PHS, and to have his employer guarantee the  accuracy of his data and methodology before applying for federal funding.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hauser  currently works with at-risk youth at the Alternative Education Program at Cape  Cod Collaborative.

Houser, a published author of popular books  favored by the media, gained wide recognition for his research into the  evolutionary roots of human abilities, including language, and whether morality  was inborn or learned.

Less than a week ago, Hauser’s former Ivy  League employer made national headlines after it has been revealed that 125  students at the prestigious institution are being investigated for allegedly  cheating on a take-home exam.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2198932/More-trouble-Harvard-report-finds-disgraced-psychology-professor-faked-data-fudged-results-monkey-experiments.html#ixzz25elh8ZeT

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