A mid-summer reminder from UD that research fraud – whopping big research fraud – is a year-round phenom at American universities. Two representative cases that have recently hit (re-hit; these stories have been kicking around for years) the news come from med and business schools, the two great incubators of research fraud. (Engineering schools do financial fraud, as in professors taking grant money and setting up secret businesses into which they divert said grant money.) (And let’s not forget psychology and sociology – two departments with extremely impressive histories of fraud, if not as impressive as med and biz schools, and with less capacity to inflict serious damage on humanity.)
UD reported on Bentley University’s James Hunton this time last year; he’d been fired from Bentley back in 2012, when the school managed to overcome Hunton’s total refusal to cooperate with their investigation of one made-up research paper (the number of such papers has risen to 31) to can his ass. (Subject of Hunton’s research: fraud.)
The Washington Post provides an update:
One of the nation’s premier academic journals of accounting has retracted 25 articles co-authored by a once-renowned professor who specialized in corporate ethics but was later accused of “fabricating” data.
The American Association of Accounting, which publishes the Accounting Review, issued the retractions last week based on a “pattern of misconduct” by James E. Hunton, who resigned from his position at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., a business school with nearly 6,000 graduate and undergraduate students.
The hunt’s on for Hunton:
Hunton has made no public comment on the allegations against him. Neither The Post nor Retraction Watch has been able to locate him now or last year when The Post, the Boston Globe and other news outlets wrote about the results of Bentley’s investigation of Hunton.
For a guy like Hunton, who had the balls to make up vast swathes of accounting firm employees across the globe, to pretend to interview them, to create copious data about them, and to write it all up in probably hundreds of academic papers, the business of dropping out and changing his identity was probably a cinch. No doubt he’s living in Jamaica, having dyed his hair red, had facial surgery, and stolen the identity of some poor student he had twenty years ago. You ain’t gonna find Hunton.
Dong-Pyou Han not so much.
Dong-Pyou Han pleaded guilty in February to faking results in AIDS-vaccine experiments. Prosecutors say his actions led federal administrators to award an extra $7 million to $20 million in grants for the research, and they want him to serve prison time for his actions… [F]ederal research administrators were “flabbergasted” by the supposed success of [Han’s] experimental vaccine, which led them to increase the project’s financing. [Han’s fraud led his] research team to focus on the specific vaccine, when they could have been looking into more promising areas.
Faking results in the great pandemic of our time. Stand-up guy.
Anyway. Terrific blogs like Retraction Watch couldn’t exist without the steady stream of research fraud coming not just from the States, of course, but from all over the world.