Hausergate: Marc Hauser will resign from Harvard

I was travelling last week and missed the news on the Boston Globe last Tuesday 19th July.

It brings a kind of resolution to the entire Hausergate affair. 

“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.

image Harvard Gazette

A large majority of the Harvard psychology faculty had voted not to allow him to teach in the department 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.” …..

Three published papers led by Hauser were thrown into question by the investigation — one was retracted and two were corrected. Problems were also found in five additional studies that were either not published or corrected prior to publication. ….

Harvard has said it is cooperating with a federal investigation into Hauser’s research, which is believed to be continuing. A spokeswoman for the federal Office of Research Integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services said the office cannot confirm or deny any ongoing investigations.

In an unusual step, dean Michael D. Smith wrote a letter to the faculty last year explaining that Hauser had been found “solely responsible” for eight instances of scientific misconduct, a serious transgression. The problems, Smith wrote, were not the same in each case, but involved “data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of research methodologies and results” — concerns that encompass many key aspects of scientific research. The letter detailed a list of possible sanctions in such cases, including involuntary leave and restrictions on a faculty member’s ability to apply for research grants or advise students, but also said that specific actions are kept confidential. 

Related: Scientist Under Inquiry Resigns From Harvard (NY Times)

 Embattled Professor Marc Hauser Will Resign from Harvard (Harvard Crimson)

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2 Responses to “Hausergate: Marc Hauser will resign from Harvard”

  1. Harvard criticised for being too lenient with Hauser « The k2p blog Says:

    […] and his lab. He was then allowed to return and continue his research but was not allowed to teach. He then resigned or was allowed to or invited to resign. The University investigation seems to be over though the […]

  2. Marc Hauser now accused of “theft of ideas” « The k2p blog Says:

    […] Hausergate affair seemed to have reached a sort of resolution with Marc Hauser’s resignation from Harvard – but it has come back to life with […]

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