Harvard Psychology Professor Marc D. Hauser Announces Resignation
    By Hank Campbell | July 20th 2011 09:51 AM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    It's not easy to get a tenured professor to leave his job - unless he is caught dog-fighting or saying girls might be different than boys, there isn't a lot off-limits, especially at a progressive bastion like Harvard.

    But bad press is not always good press and Harvard evolutionary psychology Professor Marc D. Hauser has announced his resignation.  A three-year investigation said he fudged data in his research on monkey cognition and he was on the wrong side a Psychology Department vote in February to disallow him from teaching in the upcoming academic year.

    Science loves the oppressed underdog so when an internal Harvard investigation found Hauser “solely responsible for eight counts of scientific misconduct”, apologists in academia immediately began rationalizing that slap in a way we haven't seen since the IAC slapped the IPCC for publishing old magazine interviews and calling them data.

    With Satoshi Kanazawa and Marc Hauser no longer writing the sort of popular tripe that makes media headlines for science looking silly, the evil zombie of evolutionary psychology may finally undergo a final death.

    Hauser says he has a lot of opportunities in the private sector and that may be a good thing - the only thing academia loves more than getting someone fired is campaigning to bring them back, so Hauser may not be out of the university scene for long.    And Larry Summers had to resign from Harvard for believing he could have an intellectual discourse about gender differences but a short while later he was on Pres. Obama's transition team.  You never know where life will take you.

    Comments

    Hauser and Kanazawa are two names that most evolutionary psychologists avoid association with at all costs. This is a welcome improvement to the field.

    Hank
    Well, yes and no.  Scientists are like anyone else.  Popularity is validation.    Kanazawa is/was the most popular blogger on Psychology Today - the public spoke - so a lot of people wanted to be more like him.   Hauser is less silly, obviously, but until this past summer virtually no one in the field was willing to criticize them.    Now, both have been soundly criticized by people in the field.  Evolutionary psychology may be dead anyway but people see 'psychology' and were also concerned about the entire field so it's good that the issue was addressed by peers of theirs and they didn't circle the wagons around them.
    It's nice to know that political correctness is alive and well in the psychology profession.

    Hank
    This is a sign political correctness may be waning - or at least someone is attempting to make evolutionary psychology legitimate.   Too many kooky 'studies' based on a crazy idea and a survey of college students were getting patted on the head with 'your research is just as legitimate as mine' tolerance and it was killing the field.
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