Harvard Finds Scientist Guilty of Misconduct
Harvard University said Friday that it has found a prominent researcher, Marc Hauser, "solely responsible" for eight instances of scientific misconduct.
Hours later, Dr. Hauser, a rising star for his explorations into cognition and morality, made his first public statement since news of the inquiry emerged last week, telling the New York Times, "I acknowledge that I made some significant mistakes" and saying he was "deeply sorry for the problems this case had caused to my students, my colleagues and my university."
Dr. Hauser is a leader in the field of animal and human cognition, and in 2006 wrote a well-received book, “Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong.”
Yes, it's too sweet for words: an academic expert in morality is found guilty of immoral academic conduct. That it happened at Harvard, of course, makes it all the better. It is as yet unclear exactly what the nature of Hauser's offenses were, as Harvard as been very tight-lipped about the incident so far. But you have to love Hauser's lawyerly apology, in which he acknowledges "significant mistakes" without any admission as to what they actually were, leaving himself all sorts of legal wriggle room should he need it. Time after time we seem to find that people who set themselves up as moral arbiters turn out to be the least moral people themselves.
I suppose, given that pattern, and given this blog's obsessive disapproval of sociopaths, I should be suspected of sociopathy. The equivalent outcome here would be for me to turn out to be a serial killer. But I haven't killed anybody, I promise.
At least not yet.
Then again, that's exactly what a sociopathic serial killer would say.
Seriously -- you should always be suspicious of the self-righteously moral, whether they be televangelists or politicians or Harvard professors. Or sociopath-hating bloggers.
I would like to point out that my only claim to moral superiority is vis-a-vis sociopaths.
Which, I guess, is not setting the bar all that high.