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Science in Mind

Ex-Harvard professor accused of data violations pens book on evil

In his agreement with the federal government, Marc Hauser did not admit or deny that he had committed misconduct.

Rick Friedman/New York Times

In his agreement with the federal government, Marc Hauser did not admit or deny that he had committed misconduct.

Marc Hauser, the former Harvard University psychology professor who was found by federal officials to have fabricated and manipulated data, is publishing a book on the nature of evil, “Evilicious: Desire + Denial = Cruelty.”

The former professor, who has worked with at-risk youth on Cape Cod since leaving Harvard, announced on Twitter that his book would be available Oct. 15. On his blog, he said the book will be available through Kindle Select, as an audio book, or as a print-on-demand book.

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The problems with Hauser’s research came to light in 2010, when the Globe reported that the popular professor would take a leave of absence. In handwritten letters, Hauser had informed colleagues that a three-year investigation into his lab had found evidence of misconduct and that one of his scientific papers would be retracted. The findings of the university investigation were eventually passed on to a federal oversight agency, which reported in 2012 that Hauser had engaged in six instances of scientific misconduct in research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

In his agreement with the federal government, Hauser did not admit or deny that he had committed misconduct, but agreed to a number of restrictions on his ability to do research supported by federal grant money.

The lengthy investigation and the uncertainty surrounding Hauser’s fate became a major distraction for the Harvard psychology department and opened up larger debates in the field of psychology about how much his many contributions to the scientific literature could be trusted.

Carolyn Y. Johnson can be reached at cjohnson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @carolynyjohnson.
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