What exactly has Marc Hauser done? A Document Sheds Light on Harvard’s Investigation

Tom Bartlett in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

ScreenHunter_02 Aug. 21 16.59 Ever since word got out that a prominent Harvard University researcher was on leave after an investigation into academic wrongdoing, a key question has remained unanswered: What, exactly, did he do?

The researcher himself, Marc D. Hauser, isn't talking. The usually quotable Mr. Hauser, a psychology professor and director of Harvard's Cognitive Evolution Laboratory, is the author of Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong (Ecco, 2006) and is at work on a forthcoming book titled “Evilicious: Why We Evolved a Taste for Being Bad.” He has been voted one of the university's most popular professors.

Harvard has also been taciturn. The public-affairs office did issue a brief written statement last week saying that the university “has taken steps to ensure that the scientific record is corrected in relation to three articles co-authored by Dr. Hauser.” So far, Harvard officials haven't provided details about the problems with those papers. Were they merely errors or something worse?

An internal document, however, sheds light on what was going on in Mr. Hauser's lab.

More here.

UPDATE: Ed Yong has collected a bunch of related links with more info here:

The case of Marc Hauser really erupted this week. The Chronicle published the first direct accusation of wrongdoing from a brave lab member. Harvard Dean Michael Smith published a letter confirming the misconduct, David Dobbs has yet more great analysis (including a discussion on study design) Frans de Waal comments on the implications, and Nicholas Wade has an excellent piece on Hauser, including viewpoints from a veritable who’s who of scientists, such as Hauser’s mentors, Cheney and Seyfarth. The last sentence is tragic.