Category Archives: Ethics


Cornell U. Finds No Research Misconduct in Controversial Food Scientist’s Work

Cornell University says that a professor’s questionable research practices “did not constitute scientific misconduct” but that there will be an external statistical review of his published work.

Brian Wansink, a well-known food researcher at Cornell, drew scrutiny last month, when his work was shown to include statistical discrepancies, questionable research practices, and recycled data. The fallout was detailed in The Chronicle in March, and on Wednesday Cornell issued a statement saying it had…


Ohio State Is Investigating Possible Scientific Misconduct by Prolific Professor

Ohio State University has begun an independent review of its handling of ethics complaints against one of its most prolific scientists, according to The New York Times.

Several misconduct allegations have been made in recent years against Carlo Croce, chairman of the department of cancer biology and genetics. In 2014, the Times says, a Purdue University virologist reported claims of falsified data and plagiarism to journals where Dr. Croce’s work had appeared. Several medical journals have pos…


Northwestern U. Is Accused of Violating Academic Freedom

Northwestern University engaged in “serious violations of academic freedom” both in its dealings with a bioethics journal that published a controversial article and in its investigation of Laura Kipnis, a film professor whom students accused of wrongdoing over her essay criticizing its sexual-misconduct policies, a faculty panel has concluded.

In a report on its findings, the Northwestern Faculty Senate’s ad hoc committee on academic freedom urges the university to revise its sexual-harassment…


Agriculture Dept. Removes Animal-Welfare Data From Website

A trove of information about animal welfare in university and government research laboratories, in zoos and circuses, and elsewhere disappeared from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website on Friday, worrying animal-rights activists and others who have been concerned that the Trump administration will stop making available a range of data collected by the government.

In a written statement, the Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said that during the past yea…


Columbia U. Is Mostly Mum on Accusations of Plagiarism Against Top Trump Aide

Columbia University has declined to comment on recent reports that Monica Crowley, an appointee of President-elect Donald J. Trump, plagiarized portions of her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation at the university.

An examination of Ms. Crowley’s 2000 dissertation by Politico revealed more than a dozen instances of language and information that was either improperly cited or printed without attribution. Columbia University cited confidentiality concerns in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“We have no commen…


U. of New Mexico at Gallup Spent $7,000 on Bigfoot Conference

The University of Mexico at Gallup is in a hairy situation after spending more than $7,000 on a Bigfoot conference this year, according to KRQE, a television station in Albuquerque.

The conference, “Bigfoot in New Mexico: Evidence, Ecology, and Behavior,” was paid for with university funds. After the conference the university also funded a Bigfoot expedition to search for the hypothetical giant hominid, but no students or faculty members attended.

Christopher Dyer, the campus’s executive directo…


4 Professors Involved in Philosophy Brawl Find Feces in Their Mail

Four philosophy professors who were involved in a dust-up with Brian Leiter, an influential figure in the field, received packages of excrement in the mail last summer, and critics of Mr. Leiter are accusing him of being at the bottom of the fecal attack, reports BuzzFeed. Mr. Leiter, a professor at the University of Chicago and founding editor of the Philosophical Gourmet Report, a powerful ranking of graduate programs, is known for his combative style and caustic judgments of colleagues and pr…


U. of Colorado Rescinds Pharmaceutical Researcher’s Ph.D. Over Falsified Data

A researcher and former doctoral student at the University of Colorado’s pharmacy school has lost his Ph.D. after an investigation revealed that his work had been substantially falsified, The Denver Post reported. The university recommended 10 of Rajendra Kadam’s papers for retraction after investigators found 22 fabrications in his doctoral thesis alone.

Mr. Kadam admitted to falsifying the data, according to a university report. That led the university’s Board of Regents to take what Ken McCon…


Fired Faculty Member Wounds Medical-School Dean With Shotgun, Police Say

The dean of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine was shot and injured on Monday by a former faculty member at the New York institution who had been fired in 2009, The New York Times reported.

The fired faculty member, Hengjun Chao, 49, was charged with attempted second-degree murder after he allegedly opened fire with a shotgun, hitting the dean, Dennis S. Charney, 65, and another man, whom the authorities did not identify, the Times reported. Neither of the victims suffered life-threatening wound…


Mexico’s President Is Said to Have Plagiarized Law Thesis

Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, plagiarized his undergraduate law thesis, a investigative journalist in Mexico reported on Sunday.

Mr. Peña Nieto plagiarized 28.9 percent of his 1991 thesis, “Mexican Presidentialism and Álvaro Obregón.”

A spokesman for the president said that the similarities were merely “style errors” and that Mr. Peña Nieto had met all the requirements to graduate as a lawyer from the country’s Panamerican University.