March 3, 2024

Harvard admits research misconduct by morality expert

Marc D. Hauser admits errors

Mark HauserAfter a three-year investigation Harvard
University has admitted
that a renowned expert on the evolution of morality
has engaged in scientific misconduct. Professor Marc Hauser, a popular
lecturer, and an influential exponent of the neurological basis for human moral
codes, is alleged to have been responsible for “eight instances of scientific

University authorities cited “problems
involving data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of
research methodologies and results” but gave few details. However, one of his research
assistants told the Cronicle of
Higher Education
that “the professor was reporting bogus data and …
aggressively pushed back against those who questioned his findings or asked for

Apparently his colleagues complained to the
Universtiy when they noticed that Professor Hauser fabricated responses made by
rhesus monkeys when he tested whether they could recognise speech patterns.

Professor Hauser told The
New York Times
, “I acknowledge that I made some significant mistakes”. He
said that he was “deeply sorry for the problems this case had caused to my
students, my colleagues and my university.” ~ New York
Times, Aug 20

Michael Cook
evolutionary psychology
Marc Hauser
research misconduct