Data Faked in Study About Gay People Changing Voters’ Minds. A researcher apparently made up the results of the much-publicized study, as revealed Tuesday by scientists trying to replicate it.
A study claiming that gay people advocating for same-sex marriage can change voters’ minds has been retracted due to fraud.
The study was published last December in Science, and received lots of media attention. It found that a 20-minute, one-on-one conversation with a gay political canvasser could steer voters in favor of same-sex marriage. Not only that, but these changed opinions lasted for at least a year and influenced other people in the voter’s household, the study found.
Donald Green, the lead author on the study, retracted it on Tuesday shortly after learning that his co-author, UCLA graduate student Michael LaCour, had faked the results.
“I am deeply embarrassed by this turn of events and apologize to the editors, reviewers, and readers of Science,” Green, a professor of political science at Columbia University, said in his retraction letter to the journal, as posted on the Retraction Watch blog.
LaCour confessed that he hadn’t used any of the study’s grant money to conduct any of the surveys. LaCour is scheduled to become an assistant professor at Princeton University in July.
It’s an excellent example of what F.A. Hayek called “scientism,” to distinguish it from honest science.
From the Wikipedia page on Science Magazine:
Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is one of the world’s top scientific journals. A peer-reviewed journal, it was first published in 1880, is currently circulated weekly and has a print subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is 570,400 people.
I guess it isn’t always peer reviewed, or “peer review” doesn’t mean anything. Michael LaCour joins his reputation with Michael Mann, author of the hockey stick hoax to prove global warming.