Marc Hauser Resigns from Harvard

Marc Hauser, the star psychologist and morality researcher accused of fraud, has resigned his position at Harvard.

Appropriately, the Globe’s Carolyn Johnson, who covered this story better than anyone, breaks the story:

Marc Hauser, a well-known Harvard psychology professor who has been on leave since an internal investigation found him guilty of eight counts of scientific misconduct, is leaving the university.

“Marc Hauser has resigned his position as a faculty member, effective August 1, 2011,” Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal wrote in an e-mail statement today.

Hauser was a popular professor known for his research and writing on the evolutionary underpinnings of morality and the traits that make the human mind distinct from those of other animals. He took a leave of absence after a faculty investigating committee concluded a three-year investigation — first reported last August by the Globe. But he was due to return to the university this fall, a prospect that made many of his former colleagues uncomfortable.

A large majority of the Harvard psychology faculty had voted not to allow him to teach this year, and Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith had supported the decision.

“While on leave over the past year, I have begun doing some extremely interesting and rewarding work focusing on the educational needs of at-risk teenagers. I have also been offered some exciting opportunities in the private sector,” Hauser wrote in a resignation letter to the dean, dated July 7. “While I may return to teaching and research in the years to come, I look forward to focusing my energies in the coming year on these new and interesting challenges.”

I covered this story extensively since it broke last year (most recently in May), and will try to visit it here this week if I can find time amid finishing a feature and starting a transAtlantic move. But by all means, track it at the Globe, where Johnson will do it well.
In the meantime I’ll just say I’m not surprised, though this is a very big deal. The faculty’s vote earlier this year not to allow Hauser to teach this coming year was likely a fatal blow, signaling his effective expulsion from the fraternity and favor of his colleagues, if not his position.

Related posts:

Marc Hauser, monkey business, and the sine waves of science

Journal editor’s conclusion: Hauser fabricated data

Hauser & Harvard speak; labmates & collaborators cleared

In Marc Hauser’s rush to judgment, what was he missing? (my wrap-up last fall)

May 2011: Hauser rumbings: Are these a settling, or pre-quake tremor?

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