When former Harvard pyschology professor Marc Hauser was found solely responsible in a series of six scientific misconduct cases in 2012, he distanced himself from the problems, portraying them as an unfortunate consequence of his heavy workload. He said he took responsibility, “whether or not I was directly involved.”
But a copy of an internal Harvard report released to the Globe under the Freedom of Information Act now paints a vivid picture of what actually happened in the Hauser lab and suggests it was not mere negligence that led to the problems.
The 85-page report details instances in which Hauser changed data so that it would show a desired effect. It shows that he more than once rebuffed or downplayed questions and concerns from people in his laboratory about how a result was obtained. The report also describes “a disturbing pattern of misrepresentation of results and shading of truth” and a “reckless disregard for basic scientific standards.”
A three-member Harvard committee reviewed 40 internal and external hard drives, interviewed 10 people, and examined original video and paper files that led them to conclude that Hauser had manipulated and falsified data.
Their report was sent to the federal Office of Research Integrity in 2010, but it was not released to the Globe by the agency until this week.
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