Hauser & Harvard speak; labmates & collaborators cleared

Quite a bit of news broke on the Hauser case yesterday. I lack time to treat them at any length, but the biggies were:

• Harvard released a statement that provided a few specifics, most important being that Marc Hauser “was found solely responsible, after a thorough investigation by a faculty investigating committee, for eight instances of scientific misconduct under FAS standards.” This should effectively clear other lab members and/or collaborators and co-authors from suspicion. Obviously it seems rather damning for Hauser himself. There were problems, the statement said, “involving data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of research methodologies and results.” USA Today’s Science Fair ongoing story carries that statement in full.

• Hauser himself provided a brief statement, also to Science Fair:

I am deeply sorry for the problems this case has caused to my students, my colleagues, and my university..

I acknowledge that I made some significant mistakes and I am deeply disappointed that this has led to a retraction and two corrections. I also feel terrible about the concerns regarding the other five cases, which involved either unpublished work or studies in which the record was corrected before submission for publication.

I hope that the scientific community will now wait for the federal investigative agencies to make their final conclusions based on the material that they have available.

I have learned a great deal from this process and have made many changes in my own approach to research and in my lab’s research practices.

Research and teaching are my passion. After taking some time off, I look forward to getting back to my work, mindful of what I have learned in this case. This has been painful for me and those who have been associated with the work.

The same story carries some good strong quotes from Frans de Waal and David Premack on the impact this scandal has had (and is having). It’s good to see that Harvard has answered at least the most vital and immediate of these problems, which is the doubt cast on other lab members and collaborators.

• I also received some more information on the coding protocol issues I wrote about yesterday. I updated yesterday’s post accordingly.


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