Editor of Cognition Continues to Maintain that Marc Hauser Falsified Data

Gerry Altmann, editor of the journal Cognition, says that NY Times writer Nicholas Wade misrepresented his view on the Marc Hauser affair. Here’s a quote from the article:

Difficulties in Defining Errors in Case Against Harvard Researcher

. . .

Also last month his principal accuser outside of Harvard, Gerry Altmann, allowed that he may have spoken too hastily. Dr. Altmann is the editor of Cognition, a psychology journal in which Dr. Hauser published an article said by Harvard to show scientific misconduct.

When first shown evidence by Harvard for this conclusion, Dr. Altmann publicly accused Dr. Hauser of fabricating data. But he now says an innocent explanation, based on laboratory error, not fraud, is possible. People should step back, he writes, and “allow due process to conclude.”


Writing in his blog, Altmann reproduces their actual e-mail correspondance:

15 Sep 2010, Nicholas Wade wrote at 19:27:

should one assume that you are now receding from or withdrawing your statement to me of Aug 27?  “Given the PUBLISHED design of the experiment, my conclusion is that the control condition was fabricated,”

15 Sep 2010, I replied at 19:33:

I’m not withdrawing it. … Given the content of the examined videotapes, any other conclusion than the one I reached and which you quoted would simply be implausible. So I stand by what I said.


Also on his blog, Altmann stated:

In fact, there has been no stepping back. As I make very clear in this blog (and repeated in emails to Mr. Wade…), the information I have received, when taken at face value, leads me to maintain my belief that the data that had been published in the journal Cognition was effectively a fiction – that is, there was no basis in the recorded data for those data. I concluded, and I continue to conclude, that the data were most likely fabricated (that is, after all, what a fiction is – a fabrication).

He wrote a letter to the editor of the NYT to set the record straight, and he’ll post the link if it’s published.

via Neuroskeptic: Marc Hauser: Plot Thickens, Solidifies, Cracks?


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