The science world was riveted this week by the unraveling of the career of Michael LaCour, a PhD student in Political Science at UCLA. First, a high-profile study he worked on was retracted from Science magazine after his senior co-author learned that LaCour had likely faked his survey data. Then it was revealed that LaCour had lied on his CV about grants and awards he had received, among other things. This led to the creation of the excellent #CVredflag hashtag on twitter. On Thursday, Virginia Hughes reported in Buzzfeed that LaCour had probably faked yet another study, about media bias. All of this is sad for science (and embarrassing for Science), but it’s a helpful reminder that if a study or a CV looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The Finch & Picks
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