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No, Viking pulled out of the deal for a reason wholly different from commercial or moral considerations. To discover that reason requires courageous investigative journalism. That is in short supply — and certainly not evident at the Boston Globe. The little information we have is based on an individual s whose name s have been redacted from a Harvard Report, after which Harvard did not — repeat not — fire him. Of course I would. Incurring the civil wrong of breach of contract and giving Hauser legal cause of action to sue for redress is a business decision.
Methinks not. Sadly, this targeted character assassination of certain academics — in the US and elsewhere — is nothing new. Is there evidence that Hauser was targeted? Even if he were targeted, he seems to have given his enemies plenty of rope to hang him with.
Ray, for facts and evidence we have to look beyond the Boston Globe — and a redacted Harvard Report. Sweeping generalisations are not facts or evidence. For all we know, the Committee could be guilty of the very thing for which they are accusing Hauser. I blame the monkeys for not doing what Hauser wanted them to do. They had every intention of allowing him to teach and carry on his research — and Hauser had every intention to return — but something happened….
Can we honestly put our hand on our heart and say the punishment fits the crime in this case? You might. At least he admitted to his wrong-doing. Could not disagree more with this statement. In so many ways. Presumably, this legal matter involves the legal team of Alan Dershowitz at the Harvard Law School, who were heavily involved at the start of the controversy?
Joad, C. The late C. Joad was a renowned philosopher on the faculty of the U. London He published many works, including studies in ethics, theology and religion. In this study Dr. Mail will not be published. Mmm, statistical significance. Martin says:.
May 30, at am. Reply to this comment. Noah Motion says:.
Andrew says:. Steve Sailer says:. May 31, at pm. DK says:. August 7, at am. May 30, at pm. John Mashey says:. BadYodeler says:. Rahul says:. They had every intention of allowing him to teach and carry on his research — and Hauser had every intention to return — but something happened…. Can we honestly put our hand on our heart and say the punishment fits the crime in this case? You might. I can't. Hauser wasn't the only one at fault here.
At least he admitted to his wrong-doing. June 10, am. Just on the "open data" theme, the Globe story does provide although not in a particularly intuitive place a link to a pdf of the entire document they FOIA'd from the feds, i. The redactions seem to primarily and perhaps exclusively relate to the personal-privacy exemptions from FOIA disclosure. FOIA practice is a whole specialty I know very little about, so whether the agency was overaggressive in its redactions and whether some of the redactions could be successfully challenged if the Globe or someone else were willing to push the issue some more is not something I'm in a position to speculate about.
But even with the redactions it's a pretty long document, and providing the link means that people are not at the mercy of the Globe's necessarily quite short summary and the related inherently subjective judgments about what the high points and quotable bits were. Note that to the extent Harvard itself as a matter of its protocols for such things whether those protocols are optimal or suboptimal is another question promised confidentiality to various witnesses etc. Hauser presumably has an unredacted copy — whether he is bound as a formal, legal matter to confidentiality is another interesting question I don't know the answer to, and of course the answer might be unclear and he might be hesitant about conducting the experiment of putting it out there and seeing if he then got sued and if so what the outcome of the lawsuit was.
I could see some benefit at least assuming there continues to be general interest in the story to a minimalist public statement by the committee members "outing" themselves, and basically saying "we don't necessarily want to comment generally or get into debates about the details, but under the circumstances we are willing to publicly confirm that this is our work, we stand by its conclusions, and we are willing for our professional peers in our discipline s to associate us with this report just as they associate us with our published scholarship and judge us accordingly.
However, I note by way of precedent that when the historian Michael Bellesiles engaged in career-destroying scholarly fraud, the report of the investigative committee convened by Emory to evaluate the situation which is available in unredacted form on Emory's website disclosed the names of the committee members, who were three well-known scholars in the relevant discipline, from three separate institutions outside Emory, at least one of whom had also been a university president.
I tend to think that that transparency was helpful. Maybe it's overly puristic on my part, but how fraudulent research can ever be replicated? Presumably, it means that the conclusion previously supported by fraudulent data is now supported by data obtained without fraud. But that's sort of beyond the point. It's not a replication of anything. It's just like saying that if police faked fingerprints of a murderer to get a conviction, but then real fingerprints of the same individual were found on the scene, the first set becomes somehow real. To say the redacted material of name s , reports, statutes is "aggressive" is a serious understatement — which does raise an even more serious question as to who was responsible for the redactions.
Presumably, this legal matter involves the legal team of Alan Dershowitz at the Harvard Law School, who were heavily involved at the start of the controversy? Joad, C. The late C. Joad was a renowned philosopher on the faculty of the U. London He published many works, including studies in ethics, theology and religion. In this study Dr. Joad defines decadence as "the arrogance of man getting above himself and thinking he is lord of the universe" pp.
He concludes that a decadent society is caused by the loss of belief in a higher spiritual reality: "the conviction that what is good and beautiful has its origin in and derives its authority from some other plane of reason… [which] invests our own world with a significance it had otherwise lacked.
Characteristics of a decadent society include: "luxury, scepticism, weariness and superstition… as well as a preoccupation with the self and its experiences" p. Inhabitants of this order are God and the values in which God expresses and manifests Himself, namely, truth, goodness, and beauty…In decadent societies [this spiritual order] is lost sight of" p.
Joad labels the materialistic cultural drift "insectification," and states, anticipating Thomas Cahill, and perhaps supporting Niebuhr's category: "Christ above culture,": "Granted the theistic hypothesis we may, I think… suppose that some human beings will be proof against the general process of 'insectification' and will retain the standards and values of civilized men, or will retain at least their memory much as the saints preserved the Christian faith in pagan lands and the monks some remnants of classical culture during the Dark Ages… By withdrawing, a man might…hope to keep alive some remnant of the culture of an earlier and more civilized time" pp.
It is not clear to me how establishing that Harvard is decadent in a Joadian sense not its face an implausible argument would tend to vindicate or rehabilitate Hauer. It is not clear to me how establishing that Harvard is decadent in a Joadian sense not on its face an implausible argument would tend to vindicate or rehabilitate Hauer.
June 10, pm.
In my post last night I was going to mention how much I dislike the "I didn't know what was happening, in this organization which I'm supposed to be running" excuse, but decided not to because there are surely worse excuses. And "yes, he's bad, but look how much worse those other guys are" is one of them. Anyway, I would seriously question your 'loaded' use of the word "excuse".
One man's bad excuse is another man's good reason. Hauser admitted mistakes were made — and took full responsibility for those mistakes. He did not admit to fraud. With respect to the opinions that have been expressed, I think that a serious issue raised in the original posting is being missed. From the Globe summary in reference to the paper : "The committee painstakingly reconstructed the process of data analysis and determined that Hauser had changed values, causing the result to be statistically significant" I was in a similar situation in the case which I had to investigate.
In my case there were extenuating circumstances, as there often seem to be. The member of my staff who was working on a far less scientific or worthy study had undertaken a series of measurements on humans, which included 3 measurements of body mass. From those weights, a simple calculation determined one of the important outcome measures in the experiment.
He had initially forgotten to perform one of those weighings on the first few subjects. Instead of admitting to the error and correcting it by discarding those results, and moving on with fresh subjects, he decided to fabricate the missing data. He did this quite well, but my suspicions were aroused as some of the results derived looked a bit too good to be true.
I asked those who had been involved in the study, and they confirmed that the weighings had not been performed. I confronted the member of staff and he denied it. Thankfully as I progressed the formal investigation, he eventually having filed a counter-claim that I was harassing him admitted, and we agreed that he should resign with some remaining dignity. He left science, thankfully. I am sorry, but I consider that and, judging from the summary in the Globe, Hauser's case to be clear falsification of data, and that such falsification of data is a research crime of the greatest severity.
Issues over how others handle it are potentially of immense importance, but do not and cannot detract from the conclusion that someone working in scientific research in its broadest sense has attempted to lie through their data. In doing so, they have destroyed all credibility in everything that they have previously been involved with, and can have no credibility in the future. We cannot rigorously test all their previous work to determine which may have been similarly corrupted, nor can we devise a robust system to check their future work. I am also afraid that whilst opening up original data to external scrutiny can sometimes allow others to question whether those data have been tampered with, ultimately openness in data is no solution to the problem: everyone in research has to be honest, and such honesty has to be enforced by a rigorous code of discipline within the community.
If taking effective action against such cases depleted academic staffs for a while, then so be it. It would not take long for the rest of the community to learn that, just like committing murder, you never never falsify data. June 11, am. This argument of "Fake but accurate" seems to be awfully similar to the defense that some have made for the late Cyril Burt's twin studies.
Never mind that the raw data doesn't exist — the results seem plausible. I don't buy it. It's like how Morgan Roberton's novel "The Wreck of the Titan" somewhat predicted the actual sinking of the Titanic. Presumably both novelists and scientific frauds aim to some degree of plausibility. I would be persuaded by Howard Oakley's argument if — and only if — the name s of those involved in the "painstakingly reconstructed" newspaper reporter had not been painstakingly redacted.
Dymocks - Otherwise Evilicious by Steven S. Schneiderman, , HardCover book.
Because of that painstaking redaction there is no way of knowing if the Committee whose names are redacted — basing their report on an individual whose name is also redacted — have been "painstaking" in their investigation. As was pointed out in the comments on another recent post "Comments," oddly enough , conspiracy theories tend not to explain why the purported conspirators are doing what they are doing. In this case, I see no plausible motive for Harvard to try to take Hauser down; in contrast, the motives for him to commit fraud are pretty obvious.
Brett, some conspiracy theories turn out to be correct. Attempts to bring down Chomsky have been well-documented.
Unless it's convincing two generations of linguists who haven't read Verbal Behavior that you've honestly and accurately summarized its contents. June 11, pm.
Steven S. Schneiderman
JW Mason, there's a classic syllogism that goes something like: A Galileo was scoffed at by the scientific establishment of his time and he turned out to be right; B I am scoffed at by the scientific establishment of my own time; C therefore. Goard: since it was a joke rather than a full critique of Chomskyanism don't worry — I have plenty of negative views about it!
The idea of deliberately misreporting your own subjective intuitions about grammaticality as a way of committing scholarly fraud seemed rather comical. Obviously, Chomskyan linguists like other linguists do write papers that make claims based on evidence from other languages, and if it's a language the reader and perhaps more importantly, a particular other scholar that a journal may have asked to review the manuscript as part of pre-publication peer review doesn't himself know, there is room for misleading or worse presentation of that evidence, and of course for some languages the entire discipline is necessarily relying on the competence and integrity of the handful of people who have actually done the fieldwork.
Even at the time I was thinking "if this theory stands or falls on its ability to account for Dyirbal, we all better be hoping that Dixon's explanation of Dyirbal is empirically accurate. Before disappearing up my linguistic a posteriori, may I just ask Brett am what "pretty obvious" motives would there be for Hauser to commit fraud.
I can guess at certain motives — but they are not "pretty obvious" to me…. Richard W. Symonds: Producing strong research results is the best way for a scientist to advance their career. It's much easier to get these kinds of strong results by fakery than actual experimentation.
I certainly could get a lot more attention for my research by fraudulently increasing the sensitivities by a couple orders of magnitude. I'm afraid I cannot, on the other hand, guess a reasonable motive for Harvard which is a large institutional bureaucracy and presumably not much swayed by interpersonal vendettas. Brett "I'm afraid I cannot, on the other hand, guess a reasonable motive for Harvard" So the fact Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School was involved in giving legal advice in the early stages doesn't raise an eyebrow?
But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. While I'm here, I'd like to endorse D. I would note that while the release of the report in redacted form is no doubt frustrating to those interested in the story, because it presents substantial information not previously in the public record but also presents that information in an obviously incomplete form with the redactions perhaps making the omitted information seem particularly tantalizing , this is simply a result of how FOIA works.
If Mr. Symonds or others find the mere fact of the redactions puzzling or suspicious, that is a sign that they lack relevant prior experience with the FOIA process which is not to be taken as damning — it's a comparatively obscure corner of modern American bureaucratic life that there's no reason for most non-specialists to know about unless they've had particular prior occasion to deal with it. The key point here is that the media did not get it from Harvard, they got it from the federal government, which in turn had gotten it from Harvard quite likely under conditions where it the government was obligated to maintain it in confidence except to the extent FOIA or a court order dictated otherwise.
The follow-up questions for those unhappy about the redactions would be:. You'd need to know a lot about Harvard's past practices with regard to the confidentiality of similar documents, under what if any circumstances previous exceptions have been made, etc. If so, what inferences may be drawn from his failure to do so? If so, what inferences may be drawn from the failure of such a leak thus far to occur?
Symonds: I have no idea how Dershowitz being involved in the case is supposed to suggest that Harvard has a motive to screw Hauser over. On the subject of "replication" of falsified results: Any such "replication" is also going to be a little suspect.