Harvard Dealing with Research Fallout

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 20 (UPI) — Harvard University professors say they’re doing damage control to deal with the aftermath of a scientific misconduct case against one of their colleagues.

A month after Harvard found psychology Professor Marc Hauser guilty of eight academic infractions involving three published papers and other work, faculty at the university are considering how to respond, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

In popular books, news stories, and television programs, Hauser talked about his studies that suggested monkeys, which seem far removed from humans, share some of the same basic cognitive abilities — studies that have since been retracted by the journals in which they appeared.

In a paper in the journal Cognition that has been retracted, Hauser suggested monkeys could distinguish between patterns of syllables, an ability that had been shown in babies and could be a building block of human language.

Susan Carey, Harvard Psychology Department chairwoman, said discussions about how to handle the situation are in their earliest stages, and no decisions had been made.

“We are members of the department where this happened, and we have students, whose work is most probably impeccable, who are being tainted by guilt by association,” Carey said.

“We are also scientists, who are very much hurt when science is hurt — when there’s academic misconduct.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Categorized | Other
Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.