The ScienceInsider blog published a letter from Harvard’s Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences which states that Marc Hauser was indeed found guilty of scientific misconduct under their investigation process.

it is with great sadness that I confirm that Professor Marc Hauser was found solely responsible, after a thorough investigation by a faculty investigating committee, for eight instances of scientific misconduct

None of this pushing it off on the hapless trainee anymore. He was to blame.
The Chronicle of Higher Ed published an accusation supposedly from a former lab member.

The research assistant who analyzed the data and the graduate student decided to review the tapes themselves, without Mr. Hauser’s permission, the document says. They each coded the results independently. Their findings concurred with the conclusion that the experiment had failed: The monkeys didn’t appear to react to the change in patterns.
They then reviewed Mr. Hauser’s coding and, according to the research assistant’s statement, discovered that what he had written down bore little relation to what they had actually observed on the videotapes. He would, for instance, mark that a monkey had turned its head when the monkey didn’t so much as flinch. It wasn’t simply a case of differing interpretations, they believed: His data were just completely wrong.

Certainly the dude was charismatic. And had a good media reputation. And Greg Laden thinks he’s a great guy.
But he was also willing to fake data. The odds are good that he is a case of pushing a little too hard to demonstrate what he just “knew” a priori to be true. I saw a comment on him somewhere or other that referred to him as a master experimentalist. He was just sooooo skilled at putting together the experimental conditions in the right way to demonstrate…something. The assumption has to be that this is in contrast to others in his field that had more, shall we say, difficulty. Well, perhaps the reason his experiments were seemingly so brilliant, effortless and beyond the reach of mere mortal primatologists was because Hauser was making up data? Fudging it the whole way?

ScienceInsider has published a letter from Harvard Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Michael Smith, addressed to his faculty.

it is with great sadness that I confirm that Professor Marc Hauser was found solely responsible, after a thorough investigation by a faculty investigating committee, for eight instances of scientific misconduct under FAS [Faculty of Arts and Sciences] standards.

The dean notes that their internal inquiry is over but that there are ongoing investigations from the NIH and NSF. So my curiosity turns to Hauser’s NIH support- I took a little stroll over to RePORTER.

From 1997 to 2009 there are nine projects listed under the P51RR000168 award which is the backbone funding for the New England Primate Research Center, one of the few places in which the highly endangered cotton top tamarin is maintained for research purposes. The majority of the projects are titled “CONCEPTUAL KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION IN TAMARINS”. RePORTER is new and the prior system, CRISP, did not link the amounts but you can tell from the most recent two years that these are small projects amounting to $50-60K.

Hauser appears to have only had a single R01 “Mechanisms of Vocal Communication” (2003-2006).

Of course we do not know how many applications he may have submitted that were not selected for funding and, of course, ORI considers applications that have been submitted when judging misconduct and fraud, not just the funded ones. One of the papers that has been retracted was published in 2002 so the timing is certainly such that there could have been bad data included in the application.

The P51 awards offer a slight twist. I’m not totally familiar with the system but it would not surprise me if this backbone award to the Center, reviewed every 5 years, only specified a process by which smaller research grants would be selected by a non-NIH peer review process. Perhaps it is splitting hairs but it is possible that Hauser’s subprojects were not reviewed by the NIH. There may be some loopholes here.

Wandering over to NSF’s Fastlane search I located 10 projects on which Hauser was PI or Co-PI. This is where his big funding has been coming from, apparently. So yup, I bet NSF will have some work to do in evaluating his applications to them as well.

This announcement from the Harvard Dean is just the beginning.

This is unbelievable. BRILLIANT!
Bora Zivkovic, Anton Zuiker and Dave Munger have come up with something really special.


Scrolling down you will note over 50 sites of online science being aggregated. So to quickly review all that is new in the discussion of science online, all you need to do is swing by and give it a quick scan.
I like.
Bora explains here, Munger here.

I overheard an interesting conversation recently between Associate Professor Tobias Keith and longstanding Academy member, Eunice E Schnizzlezwick Chair and University System Professor William Nelson. It went something like this…

Associate Professor Keith:

Well a man come on the 6 o’clock news
Said somebody’s been shot, somebody’s been abused
Somebody blew up a building
Somebody stole a car
Somebody got away
Somebody didn’t get too far yeah
They didn’t get too far

Phew. A whole lot of scientific badness out there. What shall we do folks?

University System Professor Nelson:

Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street for all the people to see that

Um, kinda severe eh? Well, there are definitely bad consequences of academic fraud and scientific misconduct. After all….

Professors Nelson and Keith:

Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
We’ll all meet back at the local saloon
We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces
Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses

If we are going to take Janet’s Tribe of Science formulation seriously, perhaps we do need to saddle up our boys and girls.